Tuesday, June 3, 2008

by Bill Hayes

Gray's Anatomy is one of the most famous books in the English language and is the only medical text that most people know by name. In the United States, it is in its thirty-ninth edition, has never gone out of print and has sold five million copies.
2008 marks the 150th anniversary of this publication.
In The Anatomist Bill Hayes writes a fascinating story of how this book came to be.
Henry Gray, a brilliant anatomist, did not leave behind any of his own scribblings. His collaborator, H.V. Carter, who drew all of the magnificent anatomical illustrations, had a dearth of letters and diaries, from which Hayes was able to richly, detail the relationship between these two men and what they brought to the world.
To better understand the human body, Hayes takes a course in classical gross anatomy and performs his own dissections. His descriptions of the adult human skeleton's bones, the muscles, the joints, etc., makes for engrossing and fun reading.
A wonderful tale by a terrific writer.