Angel of deatH:

The story of smallpox

‘Medical history at its absolute best’

Angel of Death was inspired by the story of Edward Jenner, a local man who (figuratively speaking) changed the face of the world. I did most of the research for this book in the archives at the Edward Jenner Museum in Jenner’s house in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, a short bike ride from our home.


Jenner was just one of the incredible characters in the history of smallpox. Others included a puritanical priest from the Salem Witch Trials; an outrageous lady adventurer and poet; the brilliant, grave-robbing Surgeon Extraordinary to the King; an American activist who believed that vaccination killed her only son; and Russian scientists working during the Cold War to turn smallpox into a biological weapon.


Angel of Death should appeal to anyone interested in medicine or the history of science – or who enjoys being moved by a powerful story.


Here’s a brief video from Meet the Author in which I talk about Angel of Death.  We filmed this in the drawing room at Dr. Jenner’s House, where Jenner used to entertain friends and visitors. It’s across the hall from the study where he wrote up his experiment on vaccination. This work culminated in his famous Inquiry on the cowpox, one of the great landmark publications in the history of medicine and science.

Please buy lots of copies! All the royalties from Angel of Death go to Dr. Jenner’s House (the Edward Jenner Museum), and they need money badly to stay open.

To help to save Dr. Jenner's House, click on this link and take a look at the video about the House under Other Info.