THE DEDICATED by Willa Gibbs


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Again a story of medical history- with a tenuous link to Miss Gibbs' The Twelfth Physician- but this time focussed on the battle for vaccination. England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries accepted smallpox as virtually inevitable. The authority on its control, head of the smallpox hospital in London, was a Dr. Woodville, who preached the doctrine of inoculation, despite its cost, its risk and the fact that those inoculated were carriers for a considerable period. Opposed to this was the theory of a country physician, Dr. Jenner, who had proved to his own satisfaction the case for vaccinating with a serum secured from diseased cows. The battle was on- prejudice and jealousy and laughter and violence and chicanery were used against Jenner, and a fair-minded journalist, Jeremy Sternes, was caught in the middle, his situation exaggerated by two women in his life, Woodville's sister, and Anne Warburton, who was fighting Jenner's battle. It is basically a fascinating and at times horrifying story. Willa Gibbs is, perhaps, a better journalist and reporter than she is a creative novelist, but her theme once again carries her text.

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1959
Publisher: Morrow