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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.


"Richly anecdotal, with plenty of jaw dropping moments."
— Slings and Arrows
"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
"This graphic history tells a rich and important story which is, as Fabiani notes, both 'deadly serious and essentially comic'."
— Times Literary Supplement
"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