About this blog

I’m a writer based in London.  I worked as a radio producer for the BBC for 17 years, making programmes including Front Row, The Film Programme, Open Book and Night Waves – and spent my last five years at Radio 4 as producer of Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time.  In early 2015 I left the BBC to write full-time.  My journalism has appeared in publications including The LancetThe Times, the Financial Times and The Cricketer.

I am currently working on a popular history of heart surgery, The Matter of the Heart, which will be published by Bodley Head in 2017.  The book traces the evolution of the discipline from its origins in the late nineteenth century to the present day, and looks at some of the most exciting recent developments in the field.  In November 2015 I received an RSL Jerwood Award, presented by the Royal Society of Literature and the Jerwood Foundation to a writer engaged on their first major commissioned work of non-fiction.

This blog is an offshoot of my research, which has entailed many hours spent reading early medical journals.  These publications are full of extraordinary and often scarcely believable stories, which though irrelevant to the book seemed too good to waste.  In my spare time I’ve collected some of the most quirky, bizarre or surprising cases I’ve encountered, all drawn from the pre-twentieth century medical literature.  Posts from this blog have appeared on sites including Listverse.com and BBC Future.  If you’d like to feature my content or commission me to write something, please contact me here.

Copyright: All effort has been taken to ensure that any text or images reproduced on this site are out of copyright or properly attributed. If you believe that I have unwittingly infringed copyright anywhere please contact me and I will promptly remove the offending item.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *