A lively recounting of how three determined individuals overcame the constraints of 18th century thinking to solve the greatest medical mystery of their era. The cure for scurvy ranks among the greatest of military successes, yet its impact on history has mostly been ignored. Stephen Bown, in this engaging and often gripping book, searches back to the earliest recorded appearance of scurvy in the 16th century, to the 18th century, when the disease was at its gum-shred, bone-snapping worst, to the early 19th century, when the preventative was finally put into service. Brown introduces us, among others, to James Lind, navy surgeon and medical detective, whose research on the disease spawned the implementation of the cure; Captain James Cook, who successfully avoided scurvy on his epic voyages; and Gilbert Blane, whose social status and charisma won over the British Navy and saved England.
"Brings the atmosphere of the time on ship alive in a way that can almost be cut with a knife." (Popular Science)
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