Welcome to my website. I am a freelance journalist and author of four non-fiction books on medical and social history. My first book, The Knife Man, is a biography of the 18th-century surgeon John Hunter. My second book, Wedlock, tells the story of Mary Eleanor Bowes, a rich heiress who was tricked into marriage by a fortune-hunter. It was a Channel 4 TV Book Club choice and no 1 in the Sunday Times bestseller list. My third book, How to Create the Perfect Wife, is the story of Thomas Day, an eccentric philanthropist who trained two foundlings in a bid to create his perfect wife. My latest book, The Mesmerist, is out now.
My new book - The Mesmerist
The Mesmerist tells the story of John Elliotson, a revered doctor and adored teacher who introduced mesmerism - hypnotism - to Victorian Britain. Elliotson's demonstrations of patients being mesmerised at University College Hospital, London, drew huge crowds of scientists, journalists and dignitaries. Spectators were especially entranced by the Okey girls, two sisters, aged 15 and 17, who performed astonishing acts while mesmerised. Then Elliotson's colleagues began to ask questions about the girls' veracity and his brilliant career was in jeopardy.
Book now for my talk at the Wellcome Library 29 June. Free to all. Tickets here.
How hypnosis cured my headaches - read about my experience of hypnotherapy in the Daily Express
The Lancet - How hypnosis split the Victorian medical profession
Daily Telegraph ***** - 'engrossing study' ... 'witty and instructive'
Guardian Book of the Day - 'lively study .. told with gusto'
'Wendy Moore is an expert guide to the world of early 19th-century medicine, and this fascinating book is packed with buccaneering, larger-than-life doctors and gruesome operations, as well as the minutely documented antics of the Okey sisters' - Spectator
... 'meticulous research' ... 'invaluable addition to the literature on the struggle between science and superstition' British Society for the History of Medicine
Read all the reviews
Full details of all my talks here
Discover my experience of hypnotism in Going Under
Read an excerpt from The Mesmerist
My other books