Publications Anatomy

On the Fabric of the Human Body.
A translation of De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem. Andreas Vesalius
Translated by William Frank Richardson, M.A., Ph.D.,
in collaboration with John Burd Carman, B. Med. Sc., M.B.Ch.B., D. Phil.

First published in 1543, Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica libri septem inaugurated the modern study of anatomy, leading to the eventual overturn of the Galenic system that had dominated medical science for fourteen centuries. Although many editions, revisions, adaptations, and facsimiles of this work appeared over the centuries, remarkably it has never before now been translated (except for fragments) into a modern language other than Russian (Moscow, 1950–1954). The Richardson and Carman translation supplies a modern, accessible version of this monumental work for the first time.

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Volume I: Book I: The Bones and Cartilages

Volume I: Book I: The Bones and Cartilages $275.00

Vol. I: lxiv, 416 pp. 73 illus. 9" × 12".
Cloth, dust jacket, 80-pound Mohawk Superfine Softwhite Eggshell acid-free paper.
ISBN 0-930405-73-0. 1998. Norman Anatomy Series, No. 1. Norman Orthopedic Series, No. 4. Norman Landmarks Series, No. 1. NP32874.

Volume I: Book I: The Bones and Cartilages, is the first of the seven books in which Vesalius’ Fabrica is divided. All of the book’s celebrated woodcut illustrations have been reproduced from the 1543 edition, most to their original size, along with the famous series of historiated initials, in which putti and dwarfed men humorously perform some of the more grisly actions associated with dissection. Every word of the text of Book I has been translated, including Vesalius’s marginal notes, his preface and letter to the publisher, and the publisher’s note to the reader. Detailed translators’ notes at the end of each section explain the subtleties of Vesalius’s language, and there are indexes to the text, to people and places, to words from languages other than Latin, and to translator’s notes. The translators have also provided a historical preface, a translator’s preface, and an anatomist’s preface.

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Deluxe Edition—Volume I: Book I: The Bones and Cartilages

Deluxe Edition—Volume I: Book I: The Bones and Cartilages $1600.00

9" x 12". NP33419.

A special deluxe edition of Vol. I, limited to 26 copies lettered A–Z, hand bound in full black Nigerian goatskin tooled with Vesalius’s arms on the front cover, all edges gilt, in cloth slipcase with spine and front cover onlays, signed by both translators, the designer, the binder, the publisher, and the managing editor, is also available. For this volume, special endsheets were printed with designs from the Fabrica and hand-marbled by Richard J. Wolfe.

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Vol. II: Book II: The Ligaments and Muscles

Vol. II: Book II: The Ligaments and Muscles $275.00

Vol. II: xxxii, 492 pp. 39 illus. 9" x 12".
Cloth, dust jacket, 80-pound Mohawk Superfine Softwhite Eggshell acid-free paper.
ISBN 0-930405-75-7. 1999. Norman Anatomy Series, No. 2. Norman Landmarks Series, No. 2. NP 35688.

Volume II: Book II: The Ligaments and Muscles, the second installment of the Fabrica translation, has also been translated and published in its entirety. This section of the Fabrica, made up of sixty-two chapters, contains the series of dissected musclemen that remain the most famous anatomical illustrations of all time. The lasting influence of these dramatic woodcuts on the history of anatomy and the visual arts cannot be overestimated.

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Deluxe Edition—Vol. II: Book II: The Ligaments and Muscles

Deluxe Edition—Vol. II: Book II: The Ligaments and Muscles $1600.00

9" x 12". NP39831.

A special deluxe edition of Vol. II, limited to 26 copies lettered A–Z, hand bound in full black Nigerian goatskin tooled with Vesalius’s arms on the front cover, all edges gilt, in cloth slipcase with spine and front cover onlays, signed by both translators, the designer, the binder, the publisher, and the managing editor.

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Volume III: Book III: The Veins and Arteries; Book IV: The Nerves

Volume III: Book III: The Veins and Arteries; Book IV: The Nerves $275.00

Vol. III : xxxi, 286pp. 34 text illus., 2 large folding plates. 9" x 12".
Cloth, dust jacket, 80-pound Mohawk Superfine Softwhite Eggshell acid-free paper.
ISBN 0-930405-83-8. January 2003. Norman Anatomy Series, No. 3. Norman Landmarks Series, No. 4. NP 37975.

Volume III: Book III: The Veins and Arteries; Book IV: The Nerves, contains a total of thirty-two chapters. Each book has a large, 18 x 12-inch, fold-out diagram detailing the veins and arteries and the nerves.

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Deluxe Edition—Volume III: Book III: The Veins and Arteries; Book IV: The Nerves

Deluxe Edition—Volume III: Book III: The Veins and Arteries; Book IV: The Nerves $1600.00

9" x 12". NP39832.

A special deluxe edition of Vol. III, limited to 26 copies lettered A–Z, hand bound in full black Nigerian goatskin tooled with Vesalius’s arms on the front cover, all edges gilt, in cloth slipcase with spine and front cover onlays, signed by both translators, the designer, the binder, the publisher, and the managing editor.

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Volume IV: Book V: The Organs of Nutrition and Generation

Volume IV: Book V: The Organs of Nutrition and Generation $275.00

Vol. IV: xxii, 241pp. 31 text illus. 9" x 12".
Cloth, dust-jacket, 80-pound Mohawk Superfine Softwhite Eggshell acid-free paper.
ISBN 978-0-930405-88-5. January 2008. Norman Anatomy Series, No. 4. Norman Landmark Series, No. 5. NP 40059.

Volume IV: Book V: The Organs of Nutrition and Generation consists of 19 chapters, illustrated with 31 woodcuts reproduced at or near original size. The final chapter contains Vesalius’s detailed instructions for performing an abdominal dissection.

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Deluxe Edition—Volume IV: Book V: The Organs of Nutrition and Generation

Deluxe Edition—Volume IV: Book V: The Organs of Nutrition and Generation $1600.00

9" x 12". NP40437.

A special deluxe edition of Vol. IV, limited to 26 copies lettered A–Z, hand bound in full black Nigerian goatskin tooled with Vesalius’s arms on the front cover, all edges gilt, in cloth slipcase with spine and front cover onlays, signed by both translators, the designer, the binder, the publisher, and the managing editor.

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Volume V: Book VI: The Heart and Associated Organs; Book VII: The Brain

Volume V: Book VI: The Heart and Associated Organs; Book VII: The Brain $275.00

Vol. V: xx, 413pp. 34 illustrations. 9" x 12".
Cloth, dust-jacket, 80-pound Mohawk Superfine Softwhite Eggshell acid-free paper.
ISBN 978-0-930405-90-8. April 2009. Norman Anatomy Series, No. 5. Norman Landmark Series, No. 6. NP 40412.

Volume V: Book VI: The Heart and Associated Organs; Book VII: The Brain contains fifteen chapters on the heart and respiratory organs and eighteen chapters on the brain and sense organs, plus a final chapter on vivisection. The volume concludes with a series of indexes, to the fifth volume and the complete set, which will greatly add to the usefulness of the translation. These include Dr. Richardson’s translation of Vesalius’s original index to the Fabrica, which represents Vesalius' outline of key discoveries and ideas in the Fabrica, and a set of cumulative indexes to all five volumes of On the Fabric of the Human Body.

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Deluxe Edition Volume V: Book VI: The Heart and Associated Organs; Book VII: The Brain

Deluxe Edition--Volume V: Book VI: The Heart and Associated Organs; Book VII: The Brain $1600

9" x 12". NP40832.

A special deluxe edition of Vol. V, limited to 26 copies lettered A–Z, hand bound in full black Nigerian goatskin tooled with Vesalius’s arms on the front cover, all edges gilt, in cloth slipcase with spine and front cover onlays, signed by both translators, the designer, the binder, the publisher, and the managing editor.

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Vesalius Endpapers

About the Translator—William Richardson, MA, PhD

William Richardson, MA, PhD, was educated at the Universities of New Zealand and Cambridge. He taught Greek and Latin language and literature in the Department of Classics at the University of Auckland from 1963 to 1998, and was Head of the Department in 1995 and 1996. His research field was the history of science and medicine. His other published works include an English translation of John Napier’s Rhabdologia (1617).

Interviews with William Richardson, MA, PhD

About the Anatomist—Professor John Carman, BMedSc, MBChB, DPhil

Professor John Carman, BMedSc, MBChB, DPhil, was educated at the University of Otago and Oxford University. He was appointed Foundation Professor of Anatomy at the University of Auckland in 1968 and was chairman of the department until 1988. He has taught in all areas of the discipline, and has major research interests in biomechanics and the anatomy of the head and neck.

Interview with Professor John Carman, BMedSc, MBChB, DPhil

Vesalius Illustration

Reviews

Reviews Of On The Fabric Of The Human Body. Book I: The Bones And Cartilages

“The treatise De humani corporis fabrica by Andreas Vesalius…is one of the most famous of all books…Book One, The Bones and Cartilages…[is an] elegant and accurate English version [of this work]. The beautiful typography…matches the quality of the translation and the plates…What [Vesalius] wrote can now be more easily understood, thanks to this fine translation, and scholars will long remain indebted to its authors, and to its publishers, for their labours.”

—Times Literary Supplement (August 13, 1999)


“…one of the publishing and scientific literary achievements of the decade…”

—Nature (September 1998)


“WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BOOK. [We are] full of appreciation and gratitude for the architects of this edifice—Richardson, the translator, and Carman, the anatomist—and Norman Publishing…This volume is an excellent rendering of Vesalius…We recommend this book…it is a superb addition to the collection of any…lover of history.”

—Journal of the American Medical Association (October 1999)


“…an awesome feat…a brilliant piece of translation and scholarship…”

—Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (July 1999)


“Dr. Richardson and Professor Carman are to be congratulated on their achievement in providing an accessible translation of what Osler described as ’a monumental human effort, one of the greatest in the history of our profession.’”

—Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (April 1999)


“The translator and his collaborator have produced a superb translation that is readable…[It is] a scholarly achievement.”

—New England Journal of Medicine (December 1998)


“[This work] is a unique offering from the history of medicine gods and should be in the personal library of any aficionado of the subject.”

—Archives of Surgery (November 1998)


Review of On the Fabric of the Human Body. Book II: The Ligaments and Muscles

“[An] elegant and beautiful production…the reader should carefully study the masterful writing of translator William Frank Richardson and anatomist John Burd Carman…[B]eautiful, complete, and an excellent value.”

—Journal of the American Medical Association (April 2000)


Reviews of On the Fabric of the Human Body, Book III: The Veins and Arteries; Book IV: The Nerves

“To those fascinated by medical history or those who may wonder how current anatomy was founded and how Vesalius interpreted his observations, this sumptuously produced translation is an unparalleled contribution that does great credit both to its authors and to its publisher.”

—Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (September 2003)


“This great scholarly enterprise has now passed half-way, with this translation of Books 3 and 4 of Vesalius’s Fabrica. The quality of the translation, layout and printing remains as high as ever… Congratulations are once more in order at the completion of one more stage in this great project.”

—Medical History (April 2004)


Reviews of the complete set of On the Fabric of the Human Body

Medical History (July 2010) (pdf)

Journal of the American Medical Association (July 14, 2010) (pdf)

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