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Download The Speckled Monster: A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Speckled Monster: A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox, by Jennifer Lee Carrell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (490 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jennifer Lee Carrell Narrator: Michael Prichard Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Speckled Monster is both a hair-raising tale of courage in the face of the deadliest disease that has ever struck mankind and a gripping account of the birth of modern immunology.

Jennifer Lee Carrell’s dramatic story follows two parents who, after barely surviving the agony of smallpox themselves, flouted eighteenth-century European medical tradition by borrowing folk knowledge from African slaves and Eastern women in frantic bids to protect their children. Their heroic struggles gave rise to immunology, as well as the vaccinations that remain our only hope should the disease be unleashed again. Carrell transports listeners back to the early eighteenth century to tell the tales of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, two iconoclastic figures who helped save London and Boston from this scourge.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Michelle | 2/18/2014

    " This is a fictionalized account of smallpox in England and in Boston in the early 18th century. While many people are familiar with the story of Jenner and vaccination against smallpox using the cowpox virus, fewer people are aware of the process of variolation, which used small amount of smallpox to give the recipients a milder case which protected them from the disease. This was practiced in Africa, Turkey and the far east and was "rediscovered" and brought into practice by two brave people, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a survivor of this terrible disease. and Zabdiel Boylston, a doctor in Boston. Each took much risk to spearhead the use of this practice, and in some ways, suffered for their beliefs. The author has done an enormous amount of research into smallpox and the history of variolation and does a nice job of building a full story about each side rather than just a recitation of the facts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tamara | 2/18/2014

    " Non-fiction that reads as easily as a novel. Fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by RachelAnne | 2/13/2014

    " This dual narrative recounts how two scarred pioneers an ocean apart saved hundreds of lives: by injecting healthy people with one of the world's deadliest diseases. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Andrea | 2/9/2014

    " A piece of historical fiction/non-fiction following the parallel descriptions of the introduction of variolation in America and Britain in the 1700s. The historical events are fascinating in the years before Jenner elucidated cowpox vaccination for smallpox; however, I was not a fan of the use of fictional conversations and thoughts to describe historical events. That being said, the book captures the intense fear surrounding a smallpox epidemic and new medical interventions. "

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