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Henry Gray (1) [1827–1861]

This page covers the author of Gray's Anatomy.

For other authors named Henry Gray, see the disambiguation page.

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Henry Gray was a British physician who wrote a general anatomy textbook at the age of 33; his work is still regarded as a standard after more than 100 years. Considering the fame of his modest textbook, relatively little is known about Gray. He was trained at St. George's Hospital, London, where he demonstrated an early interest in anatomical studies by writing a prize-winning essay comparing the structure of the human eye to the eyes of other vertebrates. Gray maintained his connection to St. George's and taught anatomy to medical students until his death from smallpox. In his short career, he wrote a book on the spleen, The Structure and Use of the Spleen (London, 1854) and published Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical (1858), which assured him a place in medical history. Although there were other anatomy textbooks available at the time, Gray's approach was much clearer than all of the others. He was described by a contemporary as a "lucid teacher of anatomy" because of his organization of materials and the effective use of illustrations, drawn by Henry Vandyke Carter. Gray also hired a professional editor to work with his prose to make it less technical and more comprehensible to the student. "This accessibility has been one of the great factors in the Anatomy's success and has influenced other writers of anatomy textbooks" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography). (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from Gray's Anatomy… (more)

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