Anatomies: A Cultural History of the Human Body (35 page)

BOOK: Anatomies: A Cultural History of the Human Body
13.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Woolner, Amy,
Thomas Woolner, R. A., Sculptor and Poet: His Life in Letters
(London: Chapman and Hall, 1917).

Extending the Territory


de Grey, Aubrey D. N. J., et al., ‘Is Human Aging Still Mysterious Enough to Be Left Only to Scientists?’,
, vol. 24 (2002), 667–76.

Deschamps, J.-Y., Françoise A. Roux, Pierre Saï and Edouard Gouin, ‘History of Xenotransplantation’,
, vol. 12, no. 2 (2005), 91–109.

Lewis, C. S.,
The Screwtape Letters
(London: Collins, 1979).

McLuhan, Marshall,
Understanding Media
(New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964).

Newrick, P. G., E. Affie and R. J. M. Corrall, ‘Relationship Between Longevity and Lifeline: A Manual Study of 100 Patients’,
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
, vol. 83 (August 1990), 499–501.

Nuland, Sherwin B., ‘Do You Want to Live Forever?’,
Technology Review
, vol. 108 (February 2005), 36–45.

Voronoff, Serge,
Quarante-trois greffes du singe à l’homme
(Paris: Doin, 1924).

Voronoff, Serge,
The Study of Old Age and My Method of Rejuvenation
(London: Gill Publishing, 1926).

Warner, Huber, et al., ‘Science Fact and the SENS Agenda’,
EMBO Reports
, vol. 6 (2005), 1006–8.

Williams, Bernard,
Problems of the Self
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973).

Wilmoth, J. R., ‘Demography of Longevity: Past, Present, and Future Trends’,
Experimental Demography
, vol. 35 (2000), 1111–29.

Zemanová, Mirka,
(Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2002).

Epilogue: Coming Home


Barringer, David, ‘Self Created’,
RSA Journal
(Winter 2011), 50.

Fuller, Steve,
Humanity 2.0
(Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).



Our attitudes towards the human body are so confused and conflicted that on many occasions during the research for this book I found my access barred to the things that I felt I needed to see and experience – barred ostensibly by regulation, but in fact by timid gatekeepers who did not want the trouble of opening their resources to an outsider’s gaze. I am all the more grateful, then, to those few who were prepared, in the face of these regrettable restrictions, to grant me a privileged view into what is in fact our own corporeal world. I am grateful above all to Sarah Simblet of the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, who allowed me to join her classes in drawing from anatomy, and to John Morris, the professor of human anatomy at the University of Oxford, in whose department this uniquely informative activity takes place.

Ken Arnold provided the introduction to Sarah without which this book would have had nowhere to begin. Once again I am greatly indebted to him and his colleagues at the Wellcome Collection, James Peto, Lisa Jamieson, Rosie Tooby and Elayne Hodgson, for their assistance and expertise. In 2009, they were kind enough to invite me to curate an exhibition called ‘Identity: Eight Rooms, Nine Lives’. I have borrowed greedily from some of the lives that we presented there. I am immensely grateful to April Ashley, who allowed us to tell the remarkable story of her gender reassignment for that exhibition, which I have retold in brief here. I am grateful, also, to Ruth Garde, who delved into the phrenological literature and came up with many riches, a few of which I also draw upon, and to the various neuroscientists whose fMRI images of the brain featured in that exhibition. A small part of my chapter dealing with the brain is adapted from an essay I wrote for the catalogue of that exhibition,
Identity and Identification
(London: Black Dog Publishing, 2009).

This is the first book that I have written about the life sciences, and one of the chief pleasures associated with it has been my discovery of the Wellcome Library. Here I was imaginatively guided by William Schupbach, Simon Chaplin, Ross Macfarlane, Christopher Hilton and Lesley Hall. Diana Wood at the library of the Fitzwilliam Museum and the staff of the Cambridge University Library also provided assistance.

I would also like to thank Fay Bound Alberti, Sam Alberti and his colleagues Carina Phillips, Tony Lander and Martyn Cooke at the Royal College of Surgeons, Santiago Alvarez, Vittorio and Enrica Norzi, Andrea Sella, Erik Spiekermann, Luba Vikhanski, Barbora Kol
and Jana Vokacova, who responded enthusiastically to my request for body idioms in languages other than English, Derek Batty, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Barry Bogin, Serena Box, Vicki Bruce, Edwin Buijsen at the Mauritshuis, Deborah Bull and Molly Rosenberg at the Royal Opera House, Chris Burgoyne, Gemma Calvert, Emily Campbell, Emma Chambers, Alex Clarke, Jody Cundy, Chris Furber and Iga Kowalska-Owen of the British Paralympic cycling team, Andrew Douds, Alan Eaton, William Edwards at the Gordon Museum, Pascal Ennaert at the Groeninge Museum, Mattie Faint, Chris Frith, David Gault, Roderick Gordon, Michael John Gorman and Brigid Lanigan at the Science Gallery, Dublin, Daniel Green, Gary Green and Sam Johnson at the York Neuroimaging Centre, Aubrey de Grey, Annabel Huxley, Karen Ingham, Jim Kennedy, Tobie Kerridge, Vivienne Lo, Natasha McEnroe, James Neuberger, Helen O’Connell, Deborah Padfield, James Partridge, David Perrett, Wolfgang Pirsig, Emma Redding and her colleagues Mary Ann Hushlak, Sarah Chin and Luke Pell at the Laban Centre, Keith Roberts, Laura Bowater, Hope Gangata and David Heylings at the University of East Anglia, Nichola Rumsey, Volker Scheid, Don Shelton, Jim Smith, Charles Spence, Lindsay and Justin Stead, Viren Swami, Julian Vincent, Crawford White, Fiona Wollocombe, Duncan X and Blue at Into You. I confess to stealing the idea for the illustration on the dedication page from Ruth Richardson.

I happily thank my agent Antony Topping, my editor Will Hammond, copy editor David Watson and my wife Moira and son Sam, who have once again put up with me as I battled to learn something of a topic about which, like most of us, I knew and still know so little.

Hugh Aldersey-Williams
Norfolk, July 2012



Entries correspond to the print edition of this book. You can use your device’s search function to locate particular terms in the text.


Page references in
indicate illustrations.


Achilles 204

Achilles heel 60

Achilles tendon 58

Adam (biblical) 55, 90, 156, 203, 236

Adam (Visible Human Project) 36

adrenaline 152

Adriaenszoon, Adriaen 4–6, 189–90

ageing theory 257

Alberti, Fay Bound 131, 138

Alberti, Leon Battista 24

Alcott, Louisa May: Little Women 95

amino acids 201

Amis, Martin: London Fields 101

Amish 133

Amsterdam 1, 4, 7

analytical photography 97

anatomy drawing 1–15

anatomy theatres 6–7

Anaxagoras 190

Andersen, Hans Christian: ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ 236

angels 248–9, 250

animal ‘donors’ 252–3

anorexia 185

anti-Semitism 90

Anything Left-Handed 199

Apelles 226

Aphrodite 206, 210

appendicitis 234–5

aqueous humour 169–70

arabesque 222

Arconville, Marie-Geneviève-Charlotte Thiroux d’ 81

Arens, William 182

Aristophanes: The Clouds 192

Aristotle xvii, 73, 128, 141, 190, 196

Armour, Andrew 131

Armstrong, Neil, footprint on the moon 216

Artemis 243

arteries 21, 69, 71, 73, 129, 166

Arts and Crafts movement 133

Ashley, April 207–9

asymmetry 100, 197–8, 199–202, 238

Atala, Anthony 139–40

Aubrey, John 73, 129

Auschwitz experiments 77

Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice 171

Avicenna 73, 119


baboon 252, 253

Bach-y-Rita, Paul 174

ballet 220–23

Barberino, Francesco da: I Documenti d’Amore 132

Barbie (doll) 227

Barcan, Ruth: Nudity 220, 236

Bardot, Brigitte 94

Barnard, Christiaan 137

Barnes, Julian: Flaubert’s Parrot 171

Barthes, Roland 207

Bartlem, Edwina 163

Batty, Derek 233

Baudelaire, Charles 176

Beaurieux, Gabriel 85

beauty 23–4, 45, 75

of the face 99–102

Galton and 96–9, 102–3

and human judgement 100

and symmetry 24, 100, 102

Beauvoir, Simone de 94

Benson, Philip 102

Bernier, François 89–90

Bertillon, Alphonse 31, 32, 170

Bertoletti, Patrick 186

Beuys, Joseph 47

Bible 55–6, 128, 159, 178, 197–8, 224, 248, 260

Leviticus 40, 143, 180, 234

quotations 40, 127, 130, 198, 203, 224, 234, 248

Biheron, Marie Marguerite 81

bile 151

Biojewellery Project 62

biological immortality 259

biotechnology 244

bisexuals 212

black bile 151

Black Death 51

bladder xv–xvii

blood 141–52

banks 146, 148

bloodletting 142, 150–52

and blushing 228–9, 233

cash for 149

and Christian ceremony 142–3

circulation 21, 71–2, 73, 129, 141–2

donors 145–9

flesh and 39–40, 43

giving blood 145–50

and heart 129

and heredity 144

and infection 145

in Judaism 142

in literature 144

menstrual 143–4

and race 144–5

screening 145, 147

taboos 40, 47, 142, 144

transfusions 147, 149–50

arteries; veins

blushing 228–9, 233



body-as-computer 263–4

Cartesian body-as-machine 73, 263

dead bodies


heat 227–8

as the human form
human form

organs and parts
specific parts

as prison of the soul 264

shapes of organs 131–6

technologically extending the body’s capabilities 243–64

body-snatchers 74

Boerhaave Museum, Leiden 7

bone marrow 51

bones 49–62

bone cells 61

ear 157

mechanics of 57–9

Bordo, Susan 45

boredom 261–2

Bosch, Hieronymus 153

The Garden of Earthly Delights

Botox treatment 239

Botticelli, Sandro: Venus 94

Bourdin, Frédéric 105–6

Brahma 243

Braille 176

brain 69, 80, 112–26

and bladder xvi–xvii

‘cortical homunculus’ 120,


cranioscopy 114–15

and creativity 123, 124–5

eating the brain 182

Einstein’s 112–14

fMRI 123–6

Gall’s twenty-seven brain ‘organs’ 115,

and heart 130–31

and mental activity 123–4

mirror neurons 223

MRI 121–6

occipital lobe 119

and the overlapping of senses 172–7

parietal lobes 113–14

parietal operculum 113

phrenology 116–18, 119

pineal gland 119, 168–9

prefrontal cortex 113

research into homosexuality 212

and sight 172, 173, 174

and soul 119, 168–9

ventricles 119

visual cortex 119

BrainPort 174

branding 237

Braune, Christian 57

breast-feeding, public 236

Brillat-Savarin, Jean Anthelme: Physiology of Taste 183–5

British Psychological Society 126

Buckland, William 178–80

Vindiciae Geologiae

Buddha 216

Buddhist tradition 20, 216, 243

Bulgakov, Mikhail: Heart of a Dog 255

Bull, Deborah 220–22

Bulwer, John 191–2


Buñuel, Luis 169

Burgoyne, Chris 59, 60

Burke, Edmund 30

Burke, William 74, 75

Burton, Robert 6

Burton, Tim: Edward Scissorhands 244


cadavers 8, 57, 72, 73–4, 75–6, 78, 181

blood from 149–50

eating human flesh 179, 181–3

Caenis/Caeneus 211

Calvert, Gemma 125

Camper, Petrus 90

cannibalism 179, 181–3

Canova, Antonio: The Three Graces 235–6

Cantlie, H. P. 120

apek, Karel 217, 219

‘Footprints’ 217

The Makropulos Secret

R. U. R.
217, 249

Carlyle, Thomas 160

BOOK: Anatomies: A Cultural History of the Human Body
13.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

California Royale by Deborah Smith
A Christmas to Die For by Marta Perry
The Scarlet Thief by Paul Fraser Collard
Snow White and the Giants by J. T. McIntosh
Resurrection by Barker,Ashe
Breathless by Chambers, V. J.
Her Lifelong Dream by Judy Kouzel
Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
Once Bitten by Stephen Leather