Medical London, published by Wellcome in October, is a Londony treasure trove in a smart burgundy box; a beautiful and enlightening compendium from our favourite Euston Road residents. Here's what you need to know to get this on your shopping list.
Medical London consists of 2 books; "Sick City", a softback essay collection exploring medicine, life and death in London which looks beautifully illustrated and decorated with literary references. "Anatomy of the City" is a hardback, 'definitive' guide to London's medical landscape. Stuffed perfectly into the box beside these alluring reads are 6 elegant maps with guided walks of a medical bent, covering swathes of walkable London. From Chelsea to Greenwich, the City to Soho, taking in Westminster and much Thameside lingering, there are encounters with ghostly historical figures along the way; plaguey Daniel Defoe, dwarf loving Peter the Great, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his wombats, a persistent Mary Seacole bearing lemonade and the ghostly Scratching Fanny of Cock Lane, among many, many others.
In launch week, Wellcome ran free group walks for all 6 of the series and we were lucky enough to go on the "Tall Ships and Tropical Diseases" tour, led by Wellcome's very own top notch archivist Ross MacFarlane. We really hope, for your sakes, that they run this wide ranging series of walks again, as there's nothing quite like your actual boffin to bring this stuff to life for you.
It's a bit early for Christmas shopping but if you've got a London obsessive in your life, they really need this supremely attractive box of edifying goodness on their shelf. Watch this space for a review and interview soon.
Medical London is available from Wellcome Collection and all good bookshops at £15.99 or you can order it online. Throughout November and December, there are more excellent events at Wellcome and free guided tours of the Medicine Man exhibition.