THE SPECKLED MONSTER is both a hair-raising tale of courage in the face of the deadliest disease that has ever struck mankind, and a gripping account of the birth of modern immunology. Jennifer Lee Carrell's dramatic story follows two parents who, after barely surviving the agony of smallpox themselves, flouted eighteenth-century European medical tradition by borrowing folk knowledge from African slaves and Eastern women in frantic bids to protect their children. Their heroic struggles gave rise to immunology, as well as the vaccinations that remain our only hope should the disease be unleashed again. 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 this scourge.
"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