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Adventures in Human Being by Gavin Francis

Adventures in Human Being

Part of the Wellcome Series
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In Adventures in Human Being, Gavin Francis leads the reader on a journey through health and illness, offering insights on everything from the ribbed surface of the brain to the secret workings of the heart and the womb; from the pulse of life at the wrist to the unique engineering of the foot. Drawing on his own experiences as a doctor and GP, he blends first-hand case studies with reflections on the way the body has been imagined and portrayed over the millennia.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Dr Francis, a GP and popular author, sets out to explore the human body as if it were a continent about which we have little knowledge. He shows us the workings of the brain and of the nervous and digestive systems, taking us on a journey from head to toe and turning it all into jolly good fun. His approach isn’t only one of biological discovery but also a trip into history, showing how the human body has been regarded through the ages. He writes with enthusiasm and warmth so that the reader feels he or she is in the company of a kind and wise mentor and raconteur.
~ Carl Hughes

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Adventures in Human Being by Gavin Francis

We have a lifetime's association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. If the body is a foreign country, then to practise medicine is to explore new territory: Francis leads the reader on an adventure through what it means to be human. Both a user's guide to the body and a celebration of its elegance, this book will transform the way you think about being alive, whether in sickness or in health. Published in association with the Wellcome Collection.


'A sober and beautiful book about the landscape of the human body: thought-provoking and eloquent.' Hilary Mantel

'Wonderful, subtle, unpretentious ... produces a kind of complicity between the author, the reader, and the subject' John Berger

About the Author

Gavin Francis was born in 1975 and brought up in Fife, Scotland. After qualifying from medical school in Edinburgh he spent ten years travelling, visiting all seven continents. He has worked in Africa and India, made several trips to the Arctic, and crossed Eurasia and Australasia by motorcycle. His first book, True North, was published in 2008. He has lectured widely and his essays have appeared in the Guardian, Granta and the London Review of Books. He lives in Edinburgh.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th February 2016


Gavin Francis

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Wellcome Collection an imprint of Profile Books Ltd


288 pages


The Real World
Popular Science
eBook Favourites

Popular science



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