The Making of Mr. Gray's Anatomy: Bodies, Books, Fortune, Fame

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9780199552993: The Making of Mr. Gray's Anatomy: Bodies, Books, Fortune, Fame

When Gray's Anatomy appeared in 1858, contemporaries immediately recognized that it was a departure from anything that had come before. Sales were brisk, and the book rapidly became not just a bestseller, but the standard work. Created by two young men in only two years in the mid-nineteenth century, Gray's Anatomy is the only textbook of human anatomy continuously in print for the last 150 years.
Commemorating this remarkable anniversary, The Making of Mr. Gray's Anatomy tells the fascinating story of the origin of this groundbreaking book. Providing a wealth of historical context, Dr. Ruth Richardson examines both the mid-Victorian medical world in which Henry Gray and the brilliant illustrator Henry Vandyke Carter operated and the vigorous publishing industry in London at that time. Along the way, Richardson explores the scientific and cultural life of the medical school dissecting room and dead house, as well as the lives of those whose corpses ended up on the slab. The very different personalities and life-stories of Gray and Carter emerge in the telling, as do those of their publishers, and the many other individuals who were involved in the making of the book itself. Indeed, The Making of Mr. Gray's Anatomy investigates the entire production process--from the book's conception in 1855 to its reception by the medical press in 1858--via typesetters, wood-engravers, steam printers, paper and printing-ink suppliers, paper-folders, stitchers and bookbinders. Here we encounter individuals motivated by money, vanity, altruism, scientific discovery, professional pride, and the quest for faith and fame.
Vividly written and painstakingly researched, The Making of Mr. Gray's Anatomy illuminates a vibrant human document, one that has guided medical students for a century and a half.

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About the Author:


Ruth Richardson is Senior Visiting Research Fellow in History at the University of Hertfordshire at Hatfield; Affiliated Scholar in the History of Science at the University of Cambridge; and Society of Apothecaries Examiner and Lecturer in the History of Medicine.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* In August 1858 the publisher Parker and Son issued the most famous teaching text of the modern era, Anatomy Descriptive and Surgical, by Henry Gray, lecturer on the subject at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London, with drawings by fellow anatomy teacher H. V. Carter, by then in Bombay assuming a professorship of anatomy. The product of three years’ work, it almost miscarried at the last instant. Richardson recounts the book’s story in chapters on author, illustrator, publisher, conception (either by Gray or Parker fils, no one now knows), preparation (i.e., through new dissections), creation (involving printers, engravers, binders, etc.), publication, and immediate reception. Time and again, she admits that precisely what happened and who was responsible are unknown and may remain so. But then she presents the evidence and reasoning to forge ahead, anyway, without worrying—indeed, welcoming—that future discoveries may prove her wrong. She plunges us into Victorian book manufacturing, including financing; corpse procurement under the first British regulation of it; the superiority of Gray’s to previous anatomy tutors; the calculating egoism of Gray and the decency and human vulnerability of Carter. This just isn’t the dry, academic tome you might expect. Though a month late for the sesquicentennial it celebrates, it’s a book about a book that is a perfect triumph of the form. --Ray Olson

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2008. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Gray s Anatomy is probably one of the most iconic scientific books ever published: an illustrated textbook of anatomy that is still a household name 150 years since its first edition, known for its rigorously scientific text, and masterful illustrations as beautiful as they are detailed. The Making of Mr Gray s Anatomy tells the story of the creation of this remarkable book, and the individuals who made it happen: Henry Gray, the bright and ambitious physiologist, poised for medical fame and fortune, who was the book s author; Carter, the brilliant young illustrator, lacking Gray s social advantages, shy and inclined to religious introspection; and the publishers - Parkers, father and son, the father eager to employ new technology, the son part of a lively circle of intellectuals. It is the story of changing attitudes in the mid-19th century; of the social impact of science, the changing status of medicine; of poverty and class; of craftsmanship and technology. And it all unfolds in the atmospheric milieu of Victorian London - taking the reader from the smart townhouses of Belgravia, to the dissection room of St George s Hospital, and to the workhouses and mortuaries where we meet the friendless poor who would ultimately be immortalised in Carter s engravings. Alongside the story of the making of the book itself, Ruth Richardson reflects on what made Gray s Anatomy such a unique intellectual, artistic, and cultural achievement - how it represented a summation of a long half century s blossoming of anatomical knowledge and exploration, and how it appeared just at the right time to become the Doctor s Bible for generations of medics to follow. Codice libro della libreria POW9780199552993

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2008. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Gray s Anatomy is probably one of the most iconic scientific books ever published: an illustrated textbook of anatomy that is still a household name 150 years since its first edition, known for its rigorously scientific text, and masterful illustrations as beautiful as they are detailed. The Making of Mr Gray s Anatomy tells the story of the creation of this remarkable book, and the individuals who made it happen: Henry Gray, the bright and ambitious physiologist, poised for medical fame and fortune, who was the book s author; Carter, the brilliant young illustrator, lacking Gray s social advantages, shy and inclined to religious introspection; and the publishers - Parkers, father and son, the father eager to employ new technology, the son part of a lively circle of intellectuals. It is the story of changing attitudes in the mid-19th century; of the social impact of science, the changing status of medicine; of poverty and class; of craftsmanship and technology. And it all unfolds in the atmospheric milieu of Victorian London - taking the reader from the smart townhouses of Belgravia, to the dissection room of St George s Hospital, and to the workhouses and mortuaries where we meet the friendless poor who would ultimately be immortalised in Carter s engravings. Alongside the story of the making of the book itself, Ruth Richardson reflects on what made Gray s Anatomy such a unique intellectual, artistic, and cultural achievement - how it represented a summation of a long half century s blossoming of anatomical knowledge and exploration, and how it appeared just at the right time to become the Doctor s Bible for generations of medics to follow. Codice libro della libreria POW9780199552993

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