The Speckled Monster

The Speckled Monster

Written by:

Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781440623356
  • 496 Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult


The Speckled Monster tells the dramatic story of two parents who dared to fight back against smallpox.  After barely surviving the agony of smallpox themselves, they flouted eighteenth-century medicine by borrowing folk knowledge from African slaves and Eastern women in frantic bids to protect their children.  From their heroic struggles stems the modern science of immunology as well as the vaccinations that remain our only hope should the disease ever be unleashed again.

Jennifer Lee Carrell transports readers back to the early eighteenth century to tell the tales of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, two iconoclastic figures who helped save London and Boston from the deadliest disease mankind has known.

The Speckled Monster

The Speckled Monster

Written by: Jennifer Lee Carrell


“Highly engrossing…Carrell tells the gripping story with ardor and skill.” —Smithsonian

“Written in a compelling, almost novelistic voice, Carrelldetails two eighteenth-century figures who struggled valiantly against smallpox. The disease becomes a character in the book, claiming the poor, the rich, and the royal without distinction.” —USA Today

Table of Contents

The Speckled MonsterAcknowledgments
Part One. London
1. Two Marys
2. Three Rebellions
3. A Destroying Angel
4. Bidding the World Adieu
5. My Dear Little Son
6. Rosebuds in Lily Skin

Part Two. Boston
1. Zabdiel and Jerusha
2. Curiosities of the Smallpox
3. The Beauty of the Sea
4. Caging the Monster
5. Demonic Wings
6. Fathers and Sons

Part Three. Hell Upon Earth
1. Salutation Alley
2. Prying Multitudes
3. An Infusion of Malignant Filth
4. The Castle of Misery
5. Signs and Wonders
6. Newgate
7. An Hour of Mourning
8. The King’s Pardon
9. Raw Head and Bloody Bones
10. Just Retribution
11. In Royal Fashion

1. Meetings and Partings
2. The Practice
3. The People