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The Anatomist: A True Story of Gray's Anatomy
Date of Review: 
Lucy Sussex
The Melbourne Age, Australia

Not many 19th-century textbooks are referenced in the title of a television series. But such is the literary afterlife and continuing medical relevance of Gray's Anatomy, which is celebrating its 150th year. In honour of the work and its two creators, anatomist Henry Gray and illustrator Henry Vandyke Carter, Bill Hayes has written this book.  But Hayes does not provide a straightforward bibliographical celebration, let alone a biography of the two Henrys. He could hardly do so, given the paucity of records surrounding Gray. More information is available concerning Dr Carter but, again, possibly not enough for a conventional biography.

Not enough, rather than too much information suits Hayes just fine. His approach, as in his two previous books, on insomnia and blood, is to mix the personal with the medical.