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 Lancet, The Times, the Financial Times and The Cricketer.
I began writing this blog while writing my first book The Matter of the Heart, a popular history of heart surgery, which was published by Bodley Head in June 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.
Researching that book 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.
A book based on this blog will be published in autumn 2018. The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth is a collection of around 70 hilarious, bizarre and poignant stories drawn from the hundreds of stories I’ve unearthed in the early medical literature.
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