Did you know that the first full and accurate description of the human skeletal system was published in 1733 by William Cheselden? Osteographia is an atlas of bones (and in addition to bones’ illustrations of cross-sections of bone with cartilage and ligaments) that relies primarily on illustration rather than text for, as Cheselden wrote, “I thought it useless to make long descriptions, one view of such prints shewing more than the fullest and best description can possibly do.” He was right. His original prints were 20 by 15 inches, accurate and instructive. The book is still in print.

The heroine of The Value of Pity, an unusual young lady, treasures her rare and expensive copy, obsessed as she is with bones and the skeletal system.

Images from Wellcome Trust Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

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Caroline Warfield, Author

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