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.
The Mesmerist - in paperback
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. Spectators were entranced by the Okey sisters, aged 15 and 17, who performed astonishing acts while mesmerised. When Elliotson's colleagues began to ask questions about the girls' veracity his brilliant career was in jeopardy.
Reviews of The Mesmerist
Spectator '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'.
British Society for the History of Medicine 'meticulous research'
How hypnosis cured my headaches - read about my experience of hypnotherapy in the Daily Express
The Lancet - How hypnosis split the Victorian medical profession
Read an excerpt from The Mesmerist
The best advice I ever received as a writer - listen to my audio piece
Writers who inspire me - listen to my audio piece
My next book
I am currently researching and writing a book on the suffragette doctors Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray who set up and ran the Endell Street Military Hospital in London in World War One. It will be published by Atlantic Books in the UK and Basic Books in the US in early 2020. I am delighted and honoured to have been awarded the Antonia Fraser Grant through the Society of Authors to help my research. If you have a relative who worked or was treated at Endell Street Military Hospital get in touch with me firstname.lastname@example.org.
My other books