THE SPECKLED MONSTER
by Jennifer Lee Carrell

Publisher
:  Dutton

Pub Date:  Spring 2003

Format:  Hardcover

Brief Description
The story of two smallpox haunted cities, of London and Boston in the 1700s, and of the two heroes on either side of the Atlantic who fought for their lives and the lives of their children to discover an innoculation against smallpox. Featuring a strong female protagonist and a topic which is eerily timely today, this is narrative non-fiction at its best.  Won at auction, it will be a major lead title for Dutton.
(see below for Full Description)

Accolades
* Chosen for the Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" program for the Summer of 2003

* Named by USA Today as one of this summer’s Top 10 "Sizzlin’" Reads

 

 

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Full Description
          In the vein of Longitude or The Professor And The Madman, a historical discovery tale, narrative non-fiction at its best. Yet this book has the potential to reach an even wider audience, since it has something these other bestsellers lack: it features a woman at its center, and is extraordinarily timely, as it tells the tale of the historical race to discover the inoculation for smallpox.
          In London in the early 1700s smallpox ravaged the city, killing nearly one fifth of its inhabitants, including Queen Mary II and Queen Anne’s children. There was no cure in sight and the situation seemed hopeless, as every day new victims—particularly pregnant woman and children—fell prey to the agonizing disease. In the midst of the darkness, one woman, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a smallpox survivor herself, was determined to save her children. She chased wild rumors of a cure, deep into the heart of Turkey. She visited witch doctors and learned of the inoculation. She inoculated her own children, then held her breath as their lives hung in the balance. They survived, and she returned to Europe with a cure in hand. But the establishment vilified her, and she would spend the rest of her life alternately attacked and sought out for help.
          Simultaneously, in the pre-Revolutionary colony of Boston, Zabdiel Boylston (the great uncle of John Adams), was a local doctor who scrambled to save his city when smallpox devastated it. Open-minded, he listened to the wild tales of African slaves who had been inoculated by witch doctors and were now untouched by the disease. He, too, in the face of the establishment, took up the primitive practice of innoculation and helped save the city of Boston.
         
THE SPECKLED MONSTER is a story of two smallpox haunted cities, of London and Boston in the 1700s, and of the two heroes on either side of the Atlantic who fought for their lives and the lives of their children. It is as extraordinary a piece of non-fiction as one is likely to find, and is sure to be a major bestseller.

About the Author
         
Jennifer Lee Carrell has a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Harvard, specializing in medieval to early modern culture, as well as other degrees in English from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford. She has the expertise to locate, decipher and interpret the published and archival evidence that underlies this book, and already has extensive knowledge of the period’s cultural history.

World Rights:  Contact Dutton

Dramatic RightsContact Lukeman

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