Wednesday, January 10, 2007

From a local author...

“In 1845 a killer stalked the great maternity hospitals of Europe and North America … Mothers and babies were slaughtered in great suffering on a monumental scale by this mass murderer. The name given to this assassin was puerperal fever… [or] childbed fever.”

This powerful novel recounts the history of the struggle to control the devastating disease known as “childbed fever” – the horrific disease that killed thousands of women and their babies across Europe and North America.

Set in 19th Century Vienna, John Piper’s book is based on the true story of Ignaz Semmelweis, a young Hungarian obstetrician. Through the eyes of a fictional young woman (Charlotte) who is having her baby in hospital, we witness the squalor and overcrowding – and we feel the terror experienced by the mothers and mothers-to-be. Charlotte, herself, contracts the dreaded disease.

Told with passion and a meticulous eye for historical accuracy, this novel describes the appalling conditions in which doctors and nurses worked in the latter half of the 19th Century and shows how Semmelweis overcame the ignorance and bigotry in the medical profession at the time to find the cause of (and a cure for) this horrendous illness.

Dr John Piper NB, BS, FRCS was born in Essex. He read medicine at the University of London, trained in surgery at the Royal Free Hospital and worked as a consultant surgeon in hospitals in England until 1977 and then in Iran, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and South Africa. In 1985 he created the Department of Surgery in the new Manapo Hospital in the Black South African Homeland of Qwagwa.
Dr Piper now lives in Portugal.

MOTHER KILLERS by John Piper can be pre-ordered at Magna Carta Bookshop for 25.50€ (hardback) and will be available from 22nd February 2007.

No comments: