Four score and more: Review of “Moral Coil” by David Boyd Haycock

As this has a medical theme I am reblogging it here

Séamus Sweeney

In contast to David Adam, this is a book whose place in my mental library has diminished rather than increased in the years since – to the extent I had forgot reading it at all until I searched the TLS site. Go figure. As time goes by, the omission of any discussion of dementia (as marked by the non-mention of Alzheimer) strikes me as even more notable, especially as a figure like Aubrey de Grey is given such prominence.

MORTAL COIL

A short history of living longer 308pp. Yale University Press. £18.99 (US $30).

9780300117783

In March 1626, Sir Francis Bacon stopped his carriage to stuff a chicken with snow, thus contracting the bronchitis that would kill him. The experiment was intended to investigate a potential means of immortality.

Bacon, four years earlier, had written his History Naturall and Experimentall of Life and Death, intended as a manual of the…

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