Mary Bartoletti's Typhoid Mary

741 Words3 Pages

In this biography, Bartoletti tells the life of “Typhoid Mary” and how her name came about. Mary was accused of infecting 50 people with the disease, 3 of whom died. She became the first individual documented as a healthy carrier of typhoid in medical history. Not much is known about Mary besides the documents left behind from and about her. Her life is truly one of scientific and historical interest.
Mary immigrated from Ireland in during the late 1800’s and lived with her aunt and uncle until she found steady work. Mary began her career as a cook in New York City, working for some of the wealthiest families. While working for those families, a short time after her employment, members of the family and other workers who lived in the home …show more content…

Pretty much, because of her tarnished reputation, I believed her to be a bad person. Once I read this book, all of my preconceived thoughts of Mary went away. Bartoletti wrote from a more sympathetic view point and made an effort to give the reader a different perspective on Mary’s life. She made the point of maybe Mary not understanding that she was a healthy carrier of the disease and touched on the fact that so many people of that time were uneducated about the catching and spreading of typhoid. Bartoletti did a good job describing how the time period also played a part in how Mary was treated after it was discovered that she was a typhoid carrier. Yellow journalism influenced the mistreatment of Mary and gave her the name “Typhoid Mary”, basically ruining her credibility and reputation. At times, there was a lack of information or some things were vaguely described involving Mary. For example, there was very little information on her early life and how she contracted the typhoid disease. Overall, Terrible Typhoid Mary was a well written, well researched biography and I found it quite informative and interesting. The book opens with a warning that people squeamish about diseases should not continue on reading; I completely agree. The book goes into great detail about the disease and other bacteria related causes of typhoid. I would not recommend this book

Open Document