The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson Summary and Reviews

The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson

The Pioneering Life of a Forgotten Surgeon

by Cherry Lewis

The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson by Cherry Lewis X
The Enlightened Mr. Parkinson by Cherry Lewis
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2017
    320 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

A colorful and absorbing portrait of James Parkinson and the turbulent, intellectually vibrant world of Georgian London.

Parkinson's disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, with 60,000 new cases each year in the United States alone, yet few know anything about the man the disease is named after. In 1817 - two hundred years years ago - James Parkinson (1755–1824) defined this mysterious ailment so precisely that we still diagnose Parkinson's Disease today by recognizing the symptoms he identified.

The story of this remarkable man's contributions to the Age of the Enlightenment is told through his three seemingly disparate passions: medicine, politics and fossils. As a political radical, Parkinson was interrogated over a plot to kill King George III and was in danger of exile. But simultaneously, he was helping Edward Jenner set up smallpox vaccination stations across London and writing the first scientific study of fossils in English, jump-starting a national craze. He is one of the intellectual pioneers of "the age of wonder," forgotten to history, but Cherry Lewis restores this amazing man to his rightful place in history with her evocative portrait of the man and his era.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Lewis's lively, captivating biography illuminates the life and work of a pioneer who may have largely faded from medical history, but whose curiosity and passion are as relevant today as they were 200 years ago." - Publishers Weekly

"Parkinson's overall contributions to medicine may be trivial except for a name, but Lewis delivers an appealing, often gruesome account of the life of a workaholic, highly respected physician from a far-off time." - Kirkus

"Recommended for medical historians and those who love biographies (particularly those of important yet largely forgotten figures)." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Cherry Lewis

Cherry Lewis is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. She is the author of The Dating Game: One Man's Search for the Age of the Earth.

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