How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
October 2, 2021 Alexandra Adlawan

HAPPY OCTOBER!

Let’s get this marathon started with book about the morbid side of history.

For the Morbidly Curious, 5th Grade and Up

WARNING: If you don’t have the guts for gore, Do Not Read This Book

Over the course of history, men and women have lived and died. Whether someone had a lung explode, was stabbed to death, died of poison, or croaked from a really bad sore throat, getting sick and dying tended to be a big, ugly mess – especially before modern medical care.

From King Tut’s ancient autopsy to Henry VIII’s explosive demise to Albert Einstein’s great brain escape, this book contains all the gory details of the awful ends of nineteen awfully famous people.

 

History told in a way that won’t put you to sleep.

 

Nothing in this book is sugar coating and includes every disgusting detail on how each person died. Each chapter focuses on one person and manages to summarize their life and death in about 5 pages in a way that is informative, gruesome but at the same time humorous and easy to read.

 

They sure had some pretty weird medical procedures back then, things like covering wounds with weird mixtures that did more harm than good and many different procedures to get ‘bad blood’ out of the body, including leeches and cupping. Luckily today, we have things like antibiotics, painkillers, X-rays, and cleanliness. It’s weird to think that the way we cure people today might seem barbaric and dumb to people living 100 years from now. They might think something like, “They tried to cure cancer with chemotherapy?! That’s horrible! What were they thinking?!”

 

After reading about all the horrible conditions the people in this book lived in and the excruciating pain they were in before dying, I’m surprised some of them made it past 30.

 

I especially enjoyed the chapters on Elizabeth I, Pocahontas, and James A. Garfield. Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII, never married, was a great leader, and likely died of pneumonia. Pocahontas was kidnapped by settlers, forced to become ‘civilized’, and died at the age of 21. Her life was nothing like the Disney movie. James A. Garfield would have survived getting shot if his doctors hadn’t stuck their dirty fingers in the bullet hole in a failed attempt to get the bullet out.

 

This book is perfect for reluctant history readers and the morbidly curious.

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