December 13 , 2010


The Human Body, Its Parts and The Stories They Tell


In Anatomies, bestselling author of Periodic Tales, Hugh Aldersey-Williams, investigates that marvellous, mysterious form: the human body.

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'Magnificent, inspired. Stimulating scientific hypotheses, bold philosophic theories, illuminating quotations and curious facts. I recommend it to all' Daily Telegraph

'A relentlessly entertaining cultural history of the human body' Guardian

Did you know that your bladder has a snooze button? Or that a child's arm can support the weight of a car? That one in two hundred of us has a spare rib, and some have an extra X or Y chromosome? That while the British fall 'flat on their face', the Germans fall, more precisely, 'on their nose'? That in Ancient Egypt, the symbol for a heart was a vase, and that in contemporary sweden it is used for unisex lavatories?

From ancient body art to plastic surgery, early anatomists to conceptual artists, grave-robbers to bionic athletes, Anatomies blends history and science, art and the everyday, to chart our ever-changing understanding of the human body, providing a treasure trove of surprising facts, remarkable stories and startling information.

'Chock-full of insights, rich in detail. Inserts fascinating scientific snippets and anecdotes about our organs into the wider history of our changing understanding of our bodies' Sunday Times

'Brims with fascinating details, infectious enthusiasm . . . the terrain he covers is so richly brought to life' Guardian

'Elegant and informative. A thing of wonder and a repository of fascinating facts' Mail on Sunday

'Highly recommended' Daily Express

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