Nick Black

Author of The Honourable Doctor


“Scrupulous, scientific, tender, revelatory – Nick Black has imagined, with the support of extensive research, an early-19th century medical world that rings true in its depictions of both moral clarity and squalor. A sad yet powerful story.”

“A wonderfully fast-paced tale of life and death in the medical, political and scientific world of London in the ferment of the 1820s. Bodysnatching, gore, and the physical and intellectual heroism of those whose courage created a better world, combine into a highly readable and engaging account of the most exciting years in human history.”

“Nick Black weaves a pacy narrative through the bitter court cases and rowdy meetings which shaped the 19th century world of medical reform. He takes us into the dark alleys, smoky taverns and pungent operating theatres of London in the early 1800s in this fascinating story about a young doctor’s battle to expose surgical blunders, fight medical corruption and defend press freedom.”

“James Lambert lies forgotten in a graveyard in the Fens. Until now. Amidst the widespread push for political and cultural reform in 1820s’ Britain, Lambert was a key figure in the fight against the medical establishment, and the ways in which it put its own vested interests ahead of science and the welfare of its patients. Elegantly written and rooted in deep historical and medical knowledge, The Honourable Doctor brings vividly into view both the terrible cost of doing what’s right, and the courage and compassion it takes to change the world. I absolutely loved it.”

“In this colourful and scholarly account, Nick Black examines the highways and byways of London’s medical past. The stories told along the route of this pilgrimage are of intense interest. Anyone interested in its unwholesome and insalubrious past will wish to read this book. It is an anatomy upon the historical body of London.”

“With marvellous insights at every twist and turn, navigated with the help of clear directions and useful maps, Black’s guidebook provides not only exercise for the legs but enlightenment for the mind.”

“With teasing asides about the scandals and intrigues of London’s medical history … Black reveals little-known aspects of the capital’s past in a manner both informative and fun, accessible whether you have a medical background or not. Walks you’ll actually want to go on.”

“An absolute must read for those who believe that if we do not learn from the past we are condemned to repeat it.”

“Its strength lies in the guided tours, the magnificent illustrations and, lastly, a series of some 36 brief articles about subjects as diverse as ambulances, almoners, convalescent homes, finance and nurses’ leagues. This is a book which anyone interested in the history of either London or medicine will find invaluable.”

“An outstanding book for anyone who is interested in the history of medicine in London…I wish I could have purchased this book many years ago.”