We’re thrilled to share the news that The Apothecary’s Wife: The Hidden History of Medicine and How it Became a Commodity by Karen Bloom Gevirtz has been acquired by Head of Zeus. World English rights were sold to freelance Commissioning Editor, Georgina Blackwell, by agent Emma Bal. The book will be published in hardback, eBook and audiobook in November 2024. It will be published simultaneously in the US by University of California Press.

The Apothecary’s Wife is a revelatory history of medicine that challenges the myths of the triumph of science and instead uncovers the fascinating truth. Drawing on a vast body of archival material, Karen Bloom Gevirtz depicts the extraordinary cast of characters who brought about this transformation. She also explores domestic medicine’s values in responses to modern health crises, such as the eradication of smallpox, and what benefits we can learn from these events.

Gevirtz said: “Throughout my academic career I have investigated how texts and new perspectives shape each other, focusing on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when so many aspects of the modern West were created, including the novel, newspapers, the stock market, global capitalism, vaccines, calculus, and the United States.

“This book advances two goals in which I believe deeply: to show the importance of past writing to current language and worldviews, and to reveal the vital relationship between the Humanities and STEM fields. I am thrilled to be on this journey with Emma Bal and the team at Madeleine Milburn Agency, and grateful to editor Georgina Blackwell for giving my book a perfect home at Head of Zeus/Bloomsbury.”

Blackwell said: “The Apothecary’s Wife has all the wonderful colour and vibrancy of a history exploring the Scientific Revolution but its argument – borne of singular research and scholarship – is so original and, above all, so crucial to understanding today’s healthcare systems and how we might improve them.”

Huge congratulations Karen!