Tag Archives: anatomy

Murphy, Robert. The Body Silent: The Different World of the Disabled

silent silent

Robert Murphy was in the prime of his career as an anthropologist when he felt the first symptom of a malady that would ultimately take him on an odyssey stranger than any field trip to the Amazon: a tumor of the spinal cord that progressed slowly and irreversibly into quadriplegia. In this gripping account, Murphy explores society’s fears, myths, and misunderstandings about disability, and the damage they inflict. He reports how paralysis like all disabilities assaults people’s identity, social standing, and ties with others, while at the same time making the love of life burn even more fiercely.

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company;
Year: 2001
ISBN-10: 0393320421

(spoiler alert)

Goldsworthy, Peter. This Goes With That

An Australian writer and medical practitioner. Peter Goldsworthy has won awards for his short stories, poetry, novels, and opera libretti.
The Poetry Archive describes his poetry as follows:
“There’s a pressing sense of mortality in his work and a desire to ask the big questions, even as he satirises them. Drawn to the discipline of science, Goldsworthy’s poems are full of the language of the laboratory —matter, evidence, elements, chemicals— the stuff we are made of, but at the same time frustrated by these limitations into asking what else we might be. He’s interested in ‘The Dark Side of the Head’, the things we can only know in flashes, like glimpsing a skink, but he also retains a rationalist’s scepticism of the ecstatic – that “thoughtlessly exquisite” evening sky in ‘Sunset’ won’t fool him into rapture”.

Publisher: Leviathan
Year: 2001
ISBN-10: 1903563119


Reid, C. A Scattering

Lucinda Gane, Christopher Reid’s wife, died in October 2005. A Scattering is his tribute to her and consists of four poetic sequences, the first written during her illness, and the other three at intervals after her death.

Publisher: Arete Ltd
Year: 2009
ISBN: 0955455367

Richardson, R. The making of Mr Gray’s Anatomy: Bodies, books, fortune, fame.

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.

Publisher: OUP Oxford
Year: 2009
ISBN: 0199570280

Viewer Comments:


Have just finished reading this – really excellently written history book. Learned a lot about Victorian dissection, bookbinding, engraving…and Gray’s anatomy. Found this quote thought provoking (not sure all anatomists look away though) its in the chapter titled ‘Raw material’ which describes the routes by which anatomists aquired bodies for dissection in the post ‘grave-robber’, but  pre-donation period.

There is a silence at the centre of Gray’s, as indeed there is in all anatomy books, which relates to the unutterable: a gap which no anatomist appears to address other than by turning away. It is the gap between the ostensible subject of the book and of the discipline, and the derivation of the bodies from whom its knowledge is constituted, its illustrations made. In Gray’s, the legally sanctioned bodies of people utterly alone in the metropolis were the raw material for dissections that served as the basis for illustrations, that were rendered in print as wood engravings. As mass-produced images, they have entered the brains of generations of the living – via the eyes, the minds, and the thoughts of those who have gazed at them.

But nowhere in these books is the human predicament of those whose bodies constituted their basis addressed, or discussed. Nowhere is their native status as the defeated,dismembered, unconsidered, naked poor even mentioned. And in Gray’s Anatomy, nowhere but in Carter’s images, do they receive memorial.”


Richardson, R. Death, dissection and the destitute

In the early nineteenth century, body snatching was rife because the only corpses available for medical study were those of hanged murderers. With the Anatomy Act of 1832, however, the bodies of those who died destitute in workhouses were appropriated for dissection. At a time when such a procedure was regarded with fear and revulsion, the Anatomy Act effectively rendered dissection a punishment for poverty. Providing both historical and contemporary insights, Death, Dissection, and the Destitute opens rich new prospects in history and history of science. The new afterword draws important parallels between social and medical history and contemporary concerns regarding organs for transplant and human tissue for research.

Author: Richardson, Ruth
Title: Death, dissection and the destitute
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press
Year: 2001
ISBN: 0226712400

Blakemore, C. The Oxford Companion to the body

Here is a delightfully diverse, informative look at the human body, combining medical and physiological fact with articles that offer cultural, mythological, religious, historical, and artistic perspectives. In over 1200 alphabetically arranged entries, The Oxford Companion to the Body covers every aspect of human anatomy as well as related topics that range from Aggression, Aspirin, and Anxiety, to Warts, Whistling, Yoga, and X-Rays.

Author: Blakemore, C & Jennett, S
Title: The Oxford Companion to the body
Publisher: Oxford ; Oxford University Press
Year: 2001
ISBN: 019852403X

Carter, Henry Vandyke. “Gray’s Anatomy”

Source: Wellcome Library, London
“189-Surgical Anatomy of the Arteries of the neck. Right side”
Printed Text with Illustration By: Henry Vandyke Carter
From: Anatomy descriptive and surgical
By: Gray, Henry
Published: John W. Parker and Son  London  1858

Full Bibliographic Record Link to Wellcome Library Catalogue

There is a particular reason to highlight the ‘other contributor’ to Henry Gray’s Anatomy, Henry Vandyke Carter was born in Hull (his father was a maritime painter), grew up and died in Scarborough and was educated in Hull before moving to London where he met Gray at St George’s. It was Carter’s clear illustrations that underpinned much of the book’s success.


Viewer Comments:


Again the Scarborough link.  There is a blue plaque on Coulson & Co accountants on Belgrave Crescent, next door to Lawrence House Medical Centre, where Carter lived.