Monday, January 5, 2015

Tessa Harris

The Lazarus Curse is the fourth novel in Tessa Harris’s award-winning Dr Thomas Silkstone Mystery series. It deals with the theme of slavery in an increasingly liberal 18th century England.

From a Q & A at the author's website:

Tell us about Dr. Thomas Silkstone, your protagonist.

Thomas Silkstone is a Philadelphian in his twenties, who comes to London to study anatomy in 1774, just before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. He is the voice of enlightened reason in a world in turmoil. Young, good-looking and with a razor-sharp mind, he’s neither superstitious, nor overtly religious and he prides himself on behaving logically. That’s why, when he meets the first love of his life, Lady Lydia Farrell, he is thrown off balance for a while, experiencing emotions like love and jealousy which have been alien to him until now.

He’s also a polymath, a bit of a rarity in these days of specialisms. He’s an anatomist, a surgeon, a physician and a scientist, challenging old ideas and embracing new discoveries and techniques. But above all, he’s a philosopher at the dawn of a new age. As an American in England, he is treated as an outsider, and this enables him to see events and people with a cool and reasoned detachment, although he is deeply compassionate at heart and his main aim is to alleviate his patients’ suffering.

Can you tell us a bit about the real-life anatomist upon whom Silkstone is based?

Before the Revolution, there were several young men who came from New England to study anatomy in England and in Scotland. Some of them returned to found great medical schools, like John Morgan, founder of the first medical school in Colonial America , or Philip Syng Physick, the so-called ‘father of American surgery.’ Thomas Silkstone is perhaps most like William Shippen Jr, who came from a wealthy Philadelphian family. He was rather a ladies’ man and was considered extremely good-looking and very accomplished. He loved dancing and the theatre and cut a dashing figure on the London social scene. He was befriended by Benjamin Franklin who...[read on]
Visit Tessa Harris's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Devil's Breath.

The Page 69 Test: The Lazarus Curse.

--Marshal Zeringue