Kevin Brown Historian

History of health, medicine and naval history

Selected Publications


History of the Newcastle upon Tyne Church High School for Girls, 1885-1985 (Newcastle, 1985)

“The Lodges of the Durham Miners’ Association, 1869-1926”, Northern History, xxiii, 1987, pp. 138-152

Light out of Darkness, the coalfields of the North-East on Film (Gateshead, 1987)

(co-ed. With A. Barrett) St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, an historical anthology (London, 1990)

St Mary’s Hospital, an illustrated history (London, 1991)

(with A.E Rodin, C. Cooke), “Arthur Conan Doyle in London: St Mary’s Hospital”, Baker Street Miscellanea, lxxiv, 1994, pp. 37-48

“Sir Alexander Fleming – beyond penicillin”, Society of General Microbiology Quarterly, xxii/i, February 1995, pp.4-5.

The Leavesden Hospital Story, 1870-1995 (St. Albans, 1995)

(with D.E. Eveleigh), “Preservation of fungal herbarium cultures: the sale of an Alexander Fleming Penicillium notatum preserved medallion”, Society for Industrial Microbiology News, xlvii, 3, May/June 1997, pp 116-118.

Regular columns in St. Mary’s Gazette, 1990-1998, and St. Mary’s Hospital Past and Present Nurses’ League Journal 1990-2008.

Biographical articles commissioned by New Dictionary of National Biography (Francis Sibson, Sir William Henry Broadbent, Dorothy Bannon, Mary Milne, Charlotte Bentley).

I buoni risultati educativi raggiunti dal museo con pochi fondi: l’esperienza dell’ Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum di Londra in [E. Nardi, ed.] Un sabato con I musei: I musei presentano le loro esperienze didattiche (Rome, 2000, and published on internet at htpp://

“Photography, Cinematography and Family History”, Family History Monthly, 58 (July2000), pp 4-9,

Hospitals and Nursing 1845-1948, a century of healthcare at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington (St Mary’s Hospital Archives Education resource pack), (London, 2000)

Alexander Fleming and the discovery of penicillin (Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum Education resource pack) (London, 2000)

Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum, a guide (London, 2000)

Harperbury Hospital from Colony to Closure, 1928-2001 (St Albans, 2001)

(With M. Lorentzon), “Rachel Williams as mentor of matrons: correspondence with Rachel Williams of St Mary’s Hospital,” Journal of Nursing Management, 11 (2003), 266-274

Penicillin Man: Alexander Fleming and the Antibiotic Revolution (Stroud, Sutton Publishing, 2004)(Paperback edition, 2005)

“The history of penicillin from discovery to the drive to production”, Pharmaceutical Historian, 34/3 (2004), 37-43

The Pox: the Life and Near Death of a Very Social Disease (Stroud, Sutton Publishing, 2006)

‘A night with Venus, A lifetime with Mercury: the treatment of syphilis’, Pharmaceutical Historian, 37/3 (2007), 34-8

Fighting Fit: Health, Medicine and War in the Twentieth Century (History Press, 2008)

‘That’s Funny! The Discovery and Developent of Penicillin’, Microbiology Today, 36/1 (2009), 12-15.

Poxed and Scurvied: The Story of Sickness and Health at Sea (Seaforth Publishing; US Naval Academy Press, 2011)

(with D. A. Henk, C.E. Eagle, M.A. Van den Berg, P.S. Dyer, M.C. Fisher), ‘Speciation despite globally overlapping distributions in Penicillium chrysogenum: the population genetics of Alexander Fleming’s lucky fungus’, Molecular Ecology, 20 (2011) 4288–4301

‘Edward Adrian Wilson: Polar Explorer and Artist, Journal of Medical Biography (2012)

Passage to the World: The Emigrant Experience 1807-1940 (Seaforth Publishing; US Naval Press, 2013)


7 comments on “Selected Publications

  1. Hannah Polly Thompon
    May 10, 2014


    Could you please tell me how I can get a copy of Harperbury Hospital from Colony to Closure, 1928-2001 (St Albans, 2001) .. I’m currently writing a feature on the subject and would love to have a look at this for further reading.


  2. aaronwilliamreed
    March 24, 2016

    Hello Kevin, I am in desperate need of your book Harperbury Hospital from Colony to Closure, 1928-2001 (St Albans, 2001). If you could please advise me on where I could get purchase one please I would be so very gratwful.

    • Kevin Brown Historian
      March 25, 2016

      I am afraid that this is now out of print, so failing a second hand copy, your best option is a library. The Wellcome Library has a copy and so does Hertfordshire Libraries and Archives. It was published for the now defunct Horizon NHS Trust to mark the closure of Harperbury. If there is anything I may be able to help with, let me know.

      • aaronwilliamreed
        April 2, 2016

        Hello Kevin, thank you very much for you quick reply.

        Myself and my partner have been interested in this site for a while now and we are rather confused why there are no images of the hospital anywhere online. I have been searching through countless records for weeks trying to find some information as it seems to be some kind of conspiracy in our opinion.

        Maybe a little over the top I know however we just cant understand how this places has become some kind of ghost.

        All the best

      • Kevin Brown Historian
        April 2, 2016

        There are lots of photographs in the book if you can see it in a library.There was a display of photos at the Postgraduate Centre on the Harperbury site. You may have to give up on finding photos online and search for original photos in archives, libraries and museums. Archival research and seeing originals beats online searching, believe me.

    July 23, 2016

    can you please tell me where I can obtain a copy of this book
    The Leavesden Hospital Story, 1870-1995
    by Kevin Brown
    St Albans, 1995, (ISBN: 0952667509)

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