I am a freelance journalist and author of five 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, Wedlock, tells the story of Mary Eleanor Bowes, a rich heiress 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, a philanthropist who trained two foundlings in a bid to create his perfect wife. My fourth, The Mesmerist, is the tale of the doctor who introduced hypnotism to Victorian London. My new book, published in April 2020 in the UK and US, is about Endell Street Military Hospital which was run and staffed by women in London in the First World War.
Endell Street (UK) No Man's Land (US)
My new book tells the story of the suffragette doctors, Louisa Garrett Anderson and Flora Murray, who ran Endell Street Military Hospital in the heart of London in World War One. Endell Street was the only hospital within the British Army to be staffed by women - all the doctors, nurses and orderlies were female except for a handful of male helpers. The women of Endell Street treated 26,000 wounded - the vast majority men - shipped back from the frontline in France, Gallipoli and elsewhere. After the war the hospital stayed open to treat victims of the Spanish flu. But when peace came everything changed.
Endell Street is published by Atlantic Books in the UK and as No Man's Land by Basic Books in the US.
BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week 1-5 June
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Order No Man's Land
Watch the interview with me by Dr Dave Schneider
"Meticulously researched, written with élan and wit, Moore’s account comes at just the right time… “No Man’s Land” reminds us that people can rise to an occasion, that the biggest advances — for medicine, for humanity — can come during the toughest times, as a result of the toughest times. It reminds us that great courage and great ingenuity are possible even when the world feels very dark.” - Sarah Lyall in the New York Times
"This is the best book I've read about the First World War since Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth. ...this fascinating book is a microcosm of early 20th-century Britain at its very best - and its very worst." - Ysenda Maxtone Graham in The Times
“An absorbing and powerful narrative … Ms. Moore has an eye for detail that brings her story to life.” - Melanie Kirkpatrick in the Wall Street Journal
"This unmisssable, thrilling read ... Rarely is a book so important, so timely... vividly and meticulously written, Endell Street is a masterpiece to stretcher straight into a major film studio." - Philippa Stockley in the London Evening Standard
"One hundred years on, this compelling book at last gives Endell Street its due... Wendy Moore vividly depicts the convoys of seriously wounded soldiers arriving straight from the battlefields in France ... Moore is superb at describing the medical advances ..." - Ann Kennedy Smith in The Guardian
"...riveting... Moore has scoured archives and diaries to produce a meticulously researched history of this extraordinary institution.... By writing this splendid book, Moore has ensured that the efforts of these pioneering women will never be forgotten.' - Patricia Fara in the Literary Review
"This is history worth knowing and a book worth reading; it is a story of the triumph of the human spirit." - New York Journal of Books
"Informative, compelling and poignant, Endell Street is a forgotten story superbly told" - TLS
Top 10 books about nursing - Katharine McMahon in the Guardian
The women saving the world: 100 years of incredible female medics - Stella, Sunday Telegraph magazine
"An absolute delight. Wendy Moore has performed an incredible feat of historical detective work and the result is a gripping account of courage and determination." - Amanda Foreman.
"Wendy Moore's rich storyteller's voice has brought back the lives and achievements of these brave and brilliant women." - Andrea Wulf.
"Endell Street is an extraordinary story, and beautifully told." - Anita Anand.
"Meticulously research and beautifully executed." - Lindsey Fitzharris.
"Their riveting story provides a vivid alternative portrait of wartime London as well as an overdue tribute to the brilliance and bravery of extraordinary women." - The Bookseller, Editor's Choice.
"An absorbing history of courage and carnage." - Kirkus.
"...Moore writes with verve and precision ... Readers interested in medical, miltiary, and women's histories will savor this sterling account." - Publishers Weekly.
Endell Street - the Trailblazing women who ran a Military Hospital in World War One - watch my virtual talk hosted by Benjamin Franklin House
The Legacy of Endell Street - hear my interview with Digital Drama about the aftermath of the First World War for the women of Endell Street Hospital.
The Mesmerist - in paperback
The Mesmerist tells the story of John Elliotson, a revered doctor and 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.
Is Hypnosis Real? - BBC World Service CrowdScience
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'.
How hypnosis cured my headaches - 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 other books