"The Great Inoculator" by Gavin Weightman

The Great Inoculator The Untold Story of Daniel Sutton and his Medical Revolution Gavin Weightman

Publication date:
11 Aug 2020
Yale University Press
320 pages: 235 x 156mm
16 b-w illus.

Smallpox was the scourge of the eighteenth century: it showed no mercy, almost wiping out whole societies. Daniel Sutton, a young surgeon from Suffolk, pioneered a simple inoculation method to counter the disease that paved the way for Edward Jenner’s infamous discovery of vaccination. Gavin Weightman reclaims Sutton’s importance, showing how the clinician’s discoveries advanced understanding of the nature of disease. Sutton’s brilliant and exacting mind had a significant impact on medicine – the effects of which can still be seen today.


Gavin Weightman is a historian and former documentary filmmaker. He has written extensively on the history of science, and is the author of Eureka, The Frozen Water Trade, and The Industrial Revolutionaries.