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Medicine: A Graphic History

Words by Dr. Jean-Noël Fabiani

Art by Philippe Bercovici

Translated by Edward Gauvin

Paperback with flaps, 240 pp, $24.99

In the Middle Ages, surgery was left to barbers, owing to their skill with sharp instruments. During the French Revolution, doctors were banned from hospitals. In the mid-19th century, the diverting effects of laughing gas inadvertently led to the discovery of anaesthesia. Three decades later, Louis Pasteur made a crucial breakthrough in his research into vaccination because his assistant decided to go on holiday.

In Medicine: A Graphic History, surgeon and professor of medical history Jean-Noël Fabiani stitches together the most significant and intriguing episodes from the story of medicine, from chance breakthroughs to hard-won scientific discoveries, featuring a vivid cast of history’s most dedicated and often heroic personalities. Spanning centuries and crossing continents, this fast-paced and rigorously detailed graphic novel guides us through one of the most wondrous strands of human history, covering everything from bloodletting to organ donation, plague to prosthetics, X-rays to Viagra.

Philippe Bercovici

Philippe Bercovici is a renowned comic book artist from Nice, France, who has created numerous comics and graphic novels, including the popular The Women in White series.

Dr. Jean-Noël Fabiani

Dr. Jean-Noël Fabiani is head of cardiac surgery at Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris. He is also a professor at the Paris-Descartes University, where he spent a decade teaching the history of medicine.


"This utterly brilliant comic will feed you vital and amazing information so painlessly you’ll barely realise how much you’re learning."
Graphic Novel of the Month
— The Observer
"This graphic history tells a rich and important story which is, as Fabiani notes, both 'deadly serious and essentially comic'."
— Times Literary Supplement
"Medicine: A Graphic History is an outstanding example of how humour can educate and inform, even when dealing with the most serious of subjects."
— Morning Star
"Richly anecdotal, with plenty of jaw dropping moments."
— Slings and Arrows