Quacks by Roy Porter is a non-fiction book about the history of quacks (fakers, charlatans, mountebanks, etcetera) in medicine (specifically medicine in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries). It covers lots of interesting characters and examples, from the standard scams of bogus pills, to the ‘doctor’ who charged patients for the use of a bed designed to improve fertility. It is an interesting subject, but I enjoyed it a bit less than I may have at a different time, because I wanted to read a general medical history book, but ended up with this one because it was on loan to me from a friend. Also I did find the book to be a bit repetitive at times, with a lot of quotes that just seemed to reiterate the same thing over and over again. But the history of science and medicine is a subject that I am quite fascinated by at the current time, so I am planning to read another of Roy Porter’s books soon, this time a more general book on the subject rather than this quite specific one, and hopefully that will be more engaging.

Quacks by Roy Porter is a non-fiction book about the history of quacks (fakers, charlatans, mountebanks, etcetera) in medicine (specifically medicine in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries). It covers lots of interesting characters and examples, from the standard scams of bogus pills, to the ‘doctor’ who charged patients for the use of a bed designed to improve fertility. It is an interesting subject, but I enjoyed it a bit less than I may have at a different time, because I wanted to read a general medical history book, but ended up with this one because it was on loan to me from a friend. Also I did find the book to be a bit repetitive at times, with a lot of quotes that just seemed to reiterate the same thing over and over again. But the history of science and medicine is a subject that I am quite fascinated by at the current time, so I am planning to read another of Roy Porter’s books soon, this time a more general book on the subject rather than this quite specific one, and hopefully that will be more engaging.