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A colorful and absorbing portrait of James Parkinson and the turbulent, intellectually vibrant world of Georgian London.

Parkinson's disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, with 60,000 new cases each year in the United States alone, yet few know anything about the man the disease is named after. In 1817 -- two hundred years years ago -- James Parkinson (1755-1824) defined this mysterious ailment so precisely that we still diagnose Parkinson's Disease today by recognizing the symptoms he identified.

The story of this remarkable man's contributions to the Age of the Enlightenment is told through his three seemingly disparate passions: medicine, politics and fossils. As a political radical, Parkinson was interrogated over a plot to kill King George III and was in danger of exile. But simultaneously, he was helping Edward Jenner set up smallpox vaccination stations across London and writing the first scientific study of fossils in English, jump-starting a national craze. He is one of the intellectual pioneers of "the age of wonder," forgotten to history, but Cherry Lewis restores this amazing man to his rightful place in history with her evocative portrait of the man and his era. one 8-page color insert



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