By Wendy Moore
Medicine, in the early 1800s, was a brutal business. Operations were performed without anaesthesia while conventional treatment relied on leeches, cupping and toxic potions. The most surgeons could offer by way of pain relief was a large swig of brandy. Onto this scene came John Elliotson, the dazzling new hope of the medical world. Charismatic and ambitious, Elliotson was determined to transform medicine from a hodge-podge of archaic remedies into a practice informed by the latest science. In this aim he was backed by Thomas Wakley, founder of the new magazine, the Lancet, and a campaigner against corruption and malpractice.Then, in the summer of 1837, a French visitor - the self-styled Baron Jules Denis Dupotet - arrived in London to promote an exotic new idea: mesmerism. The mesmerism mania would take the nation by storm but would ultimately split the two friends, and the medical world, asunder - throwing into focus fundamental questions about the fine line between medicine and quackery, between science and superstition.
The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club
By Maeve Binchy
Fascinating and informative - advice to inspire budding writers as well as entertaining Maeve Binchy fans the world over.'The most important thing to realise is that everyone is capable of telling a story. It doesn't matter where we were born or how we grew up' Maeve BinchyTHE MAEVE BINCHY WRITERS' CLUB gives a unique insight into how a No. 1 bestselling author writes. Inspired by a course run by the National College of Ireland, it comprises twenty letters from Maeve offering advice, tips and her own wonderfully witty take on the life of a writer, in addition to contributions from top writers, publishers and editors.Whether you want to write a saga or a thriller, comedy or journalism, or write for the radio or stage, the book also gives advice on the best way to get started, and what editors, publishers and agents are looking for.
Mouse or Rat?
By Umberto Eco
From the world-famous author of THE NAME OF THE ROSE, an illuminating and humorous study on the pleasures and pitfalls of translation.'Translation is always a shift, not between two languages but between two cultures. A translator must take into account rules that are not strictly linguistic but, broadly speaking, cultural.'Umberto Eco is of the world's most brilliant and entertaining writers on literature and language. In this accessible and dazzling study, he turns his eye on the subject of translations and the problems the differences between cultures can cause. The book is full of little gems about mistranslations and misunderstandings.For example when you put 'Studies in the logic of Charles Sanders Peirce' through an internet translation machine, it becomes 'Studies in the logic of the Charles of sandpaper grinding machines Peirce'. In Italian 'ratto' has no connotation of 'contemptible person' but denotes speed ('you dirty rat' could take on a whole new meaning!)What could be a weighty subject is never dull, fired by Eco's immense wit and erudition, providing an entertaining read that illuminates the process of negotiation that all translators must make.