I'm a medical historian mostly writing about the assumptions and attitudes surrounding sickness and health – something that’s hooked me since I had to read my mother’s medical dictionary in secret.
My books so far include: 'The Making of Addiction: The “use and abuse” of opium in nineteenth-century Britain' (Ashgate, 2007); 'Hot Flushes, Cold Science: A history of the modern menopause' (Granta, 2009), which won the Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award 2009; 'Calories and Corsets: A history of dieting over 2,000 years' (Profile Books, 2012) was shortlisted for a Food Writer’s Guild book prize 2013; and 'Sexuality: All That Matters' (Hodder & Stoughton, 2014). Also, of course, I'm writing the obligatory novel. And a book about constipation (yes: Luther, Napoleon, Coleridge, Dr Johnson, Elvis… where are the women?): 'Historically the bowel was the seat of emotion, boiling and yearning from the Song of Solomon 5:4, ‘My beloved … my bowels were moved for him’, to Lady Chatterly who ‘moved in her bowels’ for Mellors. Constipation is not just a literary and linguistic metaphor: it affects your body and troubles your mind, too...'
I've also written for newspapers and mags, paper and virtual, from the New Scientist online to the Erotic Review, done some radio and tv and probably peaked when I was interviewed by Sir David Frost on Al Jazeera English.
I've been a fund-raiser, cleaner, a Non-Alcoholic Trustee on the General Service Board of AA, a member of Prof Stephen Hawking’s care team, and now company secretary of Village Underground in Shoreditch www.villageunderground.co.uk. From October 2015 I'll be an RLF Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge.