Six people, six illnesses, six different places and times. United by one story about how our response to infectious diseases – like syphilis, bubonic plague and cholera – is shaped by social forces.
The City of London, 1665. As the Great Plague hits the capital, John New faces a deadly dilemma.
New York, 1907. Mary Mallon spreads infection, unaware that her name will one day become synonymous with typhoid.
India, 1857. In a British enclave, Katherine Bartrum watches her friend, and then her family, succumb to the deadly cholera.
Gloucester, 1896. Ethel Cromwell is taken ill at the height of Britain’s last great smallpox epidemic.
About the author
Anna Faherty is a writer and lecturer who collaborates with museums on an eclectic range of exhibition, digital and print projects. She is the author of the ‘Reading Room Companion’ and the editor of ‘States of Mind’, both published by Wellcome Collection.