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This newsletter celebrates the history of medicine - the people and practices, the drugs and diseases, the crises and cures that previous generations approached with resilience and inventiveness. Subscribing is free and means you won’t miss our articles, news and recommendations for books and histmed-related events.

About me

I’m Caroline Rance, and I started The Quack Doctor in 2009 to share my interest in the history of patent medicines and health fraud. I regularly give talks on this subject and have spoken at The Old Operating Theatre Museum, the Wellcome Library, the Thackray Museum, St George’s Hospital medical school, the QED conference, Skeptics in the Pub groups and numerous other venues. I have appeared on the BBC’s Great British Railway Journeys and A House Through Time, and BBC Radio 4’s comedy panel show, Best Medicine. I have an MA in Medicine, Science and Society: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives from Birkbeck, University of London.

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Stories from the history of medicine, with an inclination towards the strange.


Historian, speaker and writer about the history of medicine - especially quacks and patent remedies. Also co-host of the literature podcast She Wrote Too.