With the introduction of machinery chaining workers to long days on starvation level pay, Napoleonic Britain slips into a dark world of suspicion and retribution. Into this mix steps John Rivaulx - Frenchman, Papist and apothecary - drawn into a trail of murder as he moves through the ranks of the downtrodden and the military and right into the heart of the law. More
Around 1812, with the fear of Bonaparte besetting the land, another fear creeps over Britain, the fear of machines taking over the work of men and leaving them to starve. With the rise of the Luddite - or machine breaker - communities are split and crime and suspicion simmer beneath military suppression. Into this mix steps John Rivaulx - Frenchman, Papist and apothecary - bound not to repeat whatever may occur between himself and his patient; but in these troubled times, this oath of confidentiality may well have to be broken. In a richly detailed look at the misery of the times Jenny Dawson's The Poor Man's Physician takes the reader, in period English, on a trail of murder as John Rivaulx's ministry draws him through the ranks of the downtrodden and the military, right into the heart of the law.