|Henry Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body|
|Original title||Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical|
|Illustrator||Henry Vandyke Carter|
Gray's Anatomy is an English-language human anatomy textbook originally written by Henry Gray. Earlier editions were called Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical, but the book's name is commonly shortened to, and later editions are titled, Gray's Anatomy. The book is widely regarded as an extremely influential work on the subject, and has continued to be revised and republished from its initial publication in 1858 to the present day. The 40th (and 150th-year anniversary) edition of the book was published in 2008.
The English anatomist Henry Gray was born in 1827. He studied the development of the endocrine glands and spleen and in 1853 was appointed Lecturer on Anatomy at St George's Hospital Medical School in London. In 1855, he approached his colleague Henry Vandyke Carter with his idea to produce an inexpensive and accessible anatomy textbook for medical students. Dissecting unclaimed bodies from workhouse and hospital mortuaries through the Anatomy Act of 1832, the two worked for 18 months on what would form the basis of the book. Their work was first published in 1858 by John William Parker in London. It was dedicated by Gray to Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet. An imprint of this English first edition was published in the United States in 1859, with slight alterations. Gray prepared a second, revised edition, which was published in the United Kingdom in 1860, also by J.W. Parker. However, Gray died the following year, at the age of 34, having contracted smallpox while treating his nephew (who survived). His death had come just three years after the initial publication of his Anatomy Descriptive and Surgical. Even so, the work on his much-praised book was continued by others. Longman's publication reportedly began in 1863, after their acquisition of the J.W. Parker publishing business. This coincided with the publication date of the third British edition of Gray's Anatomy. Successive British editions of Gray's Anatomy continued to be published under the Longman, and more recently Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier imprints, reflecting further changes in ownership of the publishing companies over the years.
The full American rights were purchased by Blanchard and Lea, who published the first of twenty-five[a] distinct American editions of Gray's Anatomy on June 18, 1908. Lea & Febiger continued publishing the American editions until the company was sold in 1990.
The first American publication was edited by Richard James Dunglison, whose father Robley Dunglison was physician to Thomas Jefferson. Dunglison edited the next four editions. These were: the Second American Edition (February 1862); the New Third American from the Fifth English Edition (May 1870); the New American from the Eighth English Edition (July 1878); and the New American from the Tenth English Edition (August 1883). W. W. Keen edited the next two editions, namely: the New American from the Eleventh English Edition (September 1887); and the New American from the Thirteenth English Edition (September 1893).
In September 1896 reference to the English edition was dropped, and it was published as the Fourteenth Edition, edited by Bern B. Gallaudet, F. J. Brockway, and J. P. McMurrich, who also edited the Fifteenth Edition (October 1901). The Sixteenth Edition (October 1905) was edited by J. C. DaCosta, and the Seventeenth (September 1908) by DaCosta and E. A. Spitzka. Spitzka edited the Eighteenth (Oct. 1910) and Nineteenth (July 1913) editions, and in October 1913, R. Howden edited the New American from the Eighteenth English Edition. The "American" editions then continued with consecutive numbering from the Twentieth onwards, with W. H. Lewis editing the 20th (September. 1918), 21st (August 1924), 22nd (August 1930), 23rd (July 1936), and 24th (May 1942). C. M. Gross edited the 25th (August 1948), 26th (July 1954), 27th (August 1959), 28th (August 1966), and 29th (January 1973). Carmine D. Clemente edited and extensively revised the 30th edition (October 1984). With the sale of Lea & Febiger in 1990, the 30th edition was the last American Edition.
Sometimes separate editing efforts with mismatches between British and American edition numbering led to the existence, for many years, of two main "flavors" or "branches" of Gray's Anatomy: the U.S. and the British one. This can easily cause misunderstandings and confusion, especially when quoting from or trying to purchase a certain edition. For example a comparison of publishing histories shows that the American numbering kept roughly apace with the British up until the 16th editions in 1905, with the American editions either acknowledging the English edition, or simply matching the numbering in the 14th, 15th and 16th editions. Then the American numbering crept ahead, with the 17th American edition published in 1908, while the 17th British edition was published in 1909. This increased to a three-year gap for the 18th and 19th editions, leading to the 1913 publication of the New American from the Eighteenth English, which brought the numbering back into line. Both 20th editions were then published in the same year (1918). Thereafter, it was the British numbering that pushed ahead, with the 21st British edition in 1920, and the 21st American edition in 1924. This discrepancy continued to increase, so that the 30th British edition was published in 1949, while the 30th and last American edition was published in 1984.
The newest, 40th edition of Gray's Anatomy was published on 26 September 2008 by Elsevier under the Churchill Livingstone imprint in both print and on-line versions. The senior editor of this book and accompanying website is Professor Susan Standring, who is Emeritus Professor of Anatomy at King's College London.  The two most recent editions differ from all previous editions in an important respect: They present anatomical structures by their regional anatomy (i.e. ordered according to what part of the body the structures are located in – e.g. the anatomy of the bones, blood vessels and nerves, etc. of the upper extremity is described in one place). All previous editions of Gray's Anatomy were organized by systemic anatomy (i.e. there were separate sections for the body's entire skeletal system, entire circulatory system and entire nervous system, etc.). The editors of the 39th edition acknowledged the validity of both approaches, but nevertheless switched to regional anatomy by popular demand.
Older, out-of-copyright editions of the book continue to be reprinted and sold. On the internet in particular, there are numerous offers for older editions. Unfortunately it is not always clear which (British or American) edition these books are republications of. Many seem to be reprints of the 1901 (probably U.S.) edition. Also on the internet, there are several sites where various older versions can be read online. Although older editions may serve historic and artistic uses because their companion illustrations and anatomical cross sections are renowned for their rustic and often haunting presentation, they no longer represent an up-to-date anatomical understanding.[b]
Henry Gray wrote the original version of Gray's Anatomy with an audience of medical students and physicians in mind, especially surgeons. For many decades however, precisely because Gray's textbook became such a classic, successive editors made major efforts to preserve its position as possibly the most authoritative text on the subject in the English language. Toward this end, a long-term strategy appears to have been to make each edition come close to containing a fully comprehensive account of the anatomical medical understanding available at the time of publication. Given the explosion of medical knowledge in the 20th century, it is easily appreciated that this led to a vast expansion of the book, which threatened to collapse under its own weight in a metaphorical and physical sense. From the 35th edition onward, increased efforts were made to reverse this trend and keep the book readable by students. Nevertheless, the 38th edition contained 2,092 pages in large format – the highest page count of any and an increase from the 35th edition, which had 1,471 pages. The current 40th edition has 1,576 pages. Newer editions of Gray's Anatomy –and even several recent older ones– are still considered about the most comprehensive and detailed textbooks on the subject. Despite the aforementioned efforts to keep Gray's Anatomy readable by students, when the 39th edition was published, students were identified as a secondary market for the book, and companion publications such as Gray's Anatomy for Students,[c] Gray's Atlas of Anatomy and Gray's Anatomy Review have also been published in recent years.
The American medical drama Grey's Anatomy takes its name from the title of this book. The 1996 Steven Soderbergh film Gray's Anatomy, featuring monologuist Spalding Gray, also takes its name from the title of the book, as does Gray's Anatomy: Selected Writings, a 2009 book by British political philosopher John N. Gray.
In the episode Episode 6 "Wasiyat" of the Doordarshan TV series Byomkesh Bakshi, one of the murder suspects is reading the book.
Gray's Anatomy also makes a brief appearance in the fourth episode of the third season of TNT television series Rizzoli and Isles when Dr. Isles (played by Sasha Alexander) takes the book off of a drawer and makes Angela (played by Lorraine Bracco) swear not to tell Jane (Angie Harmon) a secret.
The interior illustrations were adapted by Isaac Marion in his Warm Bodies series from Gray's Anatomy. Also in the text of the books, one of the main characters refers to it when they see zombies in various states of decay.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Gray's Anatomy plates|
Here you can share your comments or contribute with more information, content, resources or links about this topic.