Essays, reviews, interviews

‘Case Histories: dengue’Lancet, 28 Oct 2017 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: lung cancer’Lancet, 2 Sept 2017 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: tuberculosis’Lancet, 22 Jul 2017 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Collections and connections’Lancet, 8 Jul 2017 – a review of James Delbourgo’s Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane.

‘Case Histories: hypertension’Lancet, 17 June 2017 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: epilepsy’Lancet, 20 May 2017 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Sharp physic’Lancet, 13 May 2017 – a review of ‘Method in the Madness: Understanding Ourselves, Now and Then’, Hall’s Croft, Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon.

‘Case Histories: rubella’Lancet, 8 April 2017 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: sickle cell anaemia’Lancet, 11 March 2017 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Fresh Air’, NPR, 23 May 2017 – I discussed The Smile Stealers and the Illogy with Terry Gross.

‘The Monocle Weekly’, Monocle 24, 21 May 2017 – I spoke about The Smile Stealers.

‘Free Thinking’, BBC Radio 3, 25 April 2017 – I talked about The Smile Stealers with Matthew Sweet.

‘The Theatre of Anatomy’, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 15 Feb 2017 – an illustrated talk on the history and aesthetics of the images in The Sick Rose.

‘Case Histories: Obesity’Lancet, 11 Feb 2017 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: Alcohol use disorders’Lancet, 7 Jan 2017 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: Typhoid fever’Lancet, 19 Nov 2016 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: Liver transplant’Lancet, 1 Oct 2016 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: Infective endocarditis’Lancet, 17 Sept 2016 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: Cushing’s syndrome’Lancet, 13 Aug 2016 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: Suicide’Lancet, 16 Jul 2016 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: Malaria’Lancet, 18 June 2016 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

Preliminary Review of Historical, Archaeological and Anthropological Literature on the Disposal of Dead Bodies in Britain, Corpse Project, June 2016 – a report with recommendations, written for Sophie Churchill’s Wellcome Trust-funded Corpse Project.

‘Case Histories: Autism’Lancet, 21 May 2016 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: Systemic lupus erythematosus’Lancet, 23 April 2016 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: Ovarian cancer’Lancet, 26 March 2016 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder’Lancet, 20 Feb 2016 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘Case Histories: Parkinson’s disease’Lancet, 16 Jan 2016 – my monthly column on the history of disease.

‘The historian will see you now: introducing Case Histories’Lancet, 16 Jan 2016 – an introduction to my new monthly column on the cultural history of disease.

‘Handcuffs London’Lancet, Jan 2016 – a review of ‘The Crime Museum Uncovered’ at the Museum of London.

‘The art of medicine and surgery’, National Archives blog, Jan 2016 – an interview about Crucial Interventions, as part of my stint as National Archives Writer of the Month.

‘Fresh cuts’, Nov 2015 – the first episode of Funhouse magazine’s podcast, in which I talk to Rachel Humphries about Crucial Interventions and why London is like an estate agent who spends too much time at the gym.

‘Between survival and wholeness’Lancet, Nov 2015 – a reflection, prompted by the publication of Crucial Interventions, on my own experiences under the knife and the place of patients in the history of surgery.

‘Crucial Interventions’, Nov 2015 – a short film about Crucial Interventions, set in Wellcome Collection’s Reading Room.

‘Soul medicine’Lancet Psychiatry, Nov 2015 – an essay review of Andrew Scull’s Madness In Civilisation. (Free to read, but you need to register & log in.)

‘Discussing Disfigurement’, June 2015 – a half-hour video discussion on the history of facial disfigurement with Henrietta Spalding, Head of Advocacy at Changing Faces, and Mosaic commissioning editor Mun-Keat Looi.

‘The History of Blood-Letting’, The Naked Scientists, June 2015 – a short interview (rather choppily edited) on the history of therapeutic bloodletting, recorded for World Blood Day.

‘Dragonology’Lancet, June 2015 – a review of Melanie Keene’s Science in Wonderland.

‘The greatest geek’London Review of Books, 5 Feb 2015 – an essay review of W. Bernard Carlson’s Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age.

‘Smells, smells, smells’Lancet, Feb 2015 – a review of Lee Jackson’s Dirty Old London.

‘A cultural history of the plague’, BBC Radio 3, 30 Nov 2014 – Dr Laura Ashe interviewed me about medieval medicine and London’s plague pits.

‘Glittering in the darkness’Lancet, Nov 2014 – a review of the National Gallery’s ‘Rembrandt: The Late Works’.

‘Lingo’, 3:AM Magazine, Nov 2014 – a prose poem from my forthcoming first collection, Seahouses.

‘Bodies everywhere’, Science For The People, Oct 2014 – an audio interview on The Sick Rose with Desiree Schell.

‘Mead’s medical London’, Sept 2014 – an interview with Flora Allen of the Foundling Museum, to mark their exhibition on the Georgian physician Richard Mead.

‘Unassigned reading’, Remedia, 4 Aug 2014 – a fragment (right at the bottom of the page) on my admiration for the poet Geoffrey Hill.

‘Sick roses’, Thought Catalog, Aug 2014 – an interview on The Sick Rose with Mark Dery.

‘Disease and the art of medical illustration’, Unmaking Things, Jul 2014 – an interview on The Sick Rose with Frankie Kubicki and Georgia Cherry.

‘Shooting, crushing, gnawing, piercing, searing’, Lancet, June 2014 – a review of Joanna Bourke’s The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers.

‘The Sick Rose’, Wellcome Library blog, June 2014 – a reflection on the ethics of using historical images of sickness and suffering in new contexts.

‘Light and dust: a reading of Johannes Jacob Scheuchzer’s ‘Homo ex Humo’’, Morbid Anatomy, April 2014.

‘The bottle beckons’, Lancet, February 2014 – a review of ‘This Bewitching Poison’, an exhibition on the history of alcohol at the Royal College of Physicians.

‘‘This parliament of monsters’: London’s spectacular fairs’, Congress for Curious People, 7 Sept 2013 – an experiment in writing a sensory history of spectacle in London’s historic fairs.

‘The immortal coil’, London Review of Books, 21 March 2013 – an essay review of The Correspondence of Michael Faraday.

‘John Snow and cholera’, Sick City Project blog, 11 March 2013 – a keynote talk given at the John Snow bicentenary conference at the University of York, offering a new and richer way to think about Snow’s work on cholera in Soho.

Curiocity, 2013 – I wrote fragments on the Windmill Theatre and on medieval attempts to sneak into heaven for issues D and E.

‘The sense of an ending: a short history of modern death’, The Natural Death Handbook (fifth edition), 2012 – an essay on the ways in which medicine and science have changed our relationship with death.

‘Bitter medicine: gout and the birth of the cocktail’, Lancet, April 2012 – an essay tracing the roots of the cocktail in eighteenth-century remedies for gout and tropical diseases.

‘The body in question’, Lancet, January 2012 – a review of William & Helen Bynum’s Great Discoveries in Medicine and Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes, and Emma Shackleton’s The Art of Medicine: Over 2000 Years of Medicine in Our Lives.

‘Dr Lauder Lindsay’s lemmings: mad beasts and misanthropy in a Victorian asylum’ (with Michael Neve), Strange Attractor Four, 2011 – an exploration of the history of ideas about animal minds and madness through the work of the Victorian mad-doctor William Lauder Lindsay.

‘Lost wax: medicine and spectacle in Enlightenment London’, Lancet, August 2008 – an essay on eighteenth-century London’s anatomical wax museums.

‘Let them eat cake’, Lancet, March 2008 – a review of James Vernon’s Hunger: A Modern History.

The Selborne Pioneer, Nthposition, 2007 – an essay review of Ted Dadswell’s The Selborne Pioneer, a biography of Gilbert White.

The Cult of Pharmacology and Intoxication in Mythology, Nthposition, 2007 – an essay review of Richard DeGrandpre’s The Cult of Pharmacology and Ernest Abel’s Intoxication in Mythology.

The Black Death 1346-1353, Nthposition, 2007 – an essay review of Ole Benedictow’s The Black Death 1346-1353: The Complete History.

‘Education or degeneration: E. Ray Lankester, H.G. Wells, and The Outline of History, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 2006 – a study of the development of degeneration theory in British science after Darwin, and its influence on popular historiography.

I’ve also written reference articles on various subjects for the Dictionary of Medical Biography, the Encyclopedia of Pestilences, Plagues and Pandemics, and the Scribner Library of Modern Europe: 1789-1914, and more than forty book reviews for scholarly journals like Isis, Medical History, Annals of Science, Social History of Medicine, the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Ergonomics, the International Journal of Men’s Health, and Wellcome History.