The King's Anatomist

The Journey of Andreas Vesalius

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Pub Date 12 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 10 Sep 2021
History Through Fiction, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles

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Description

A revolutionary anatomist, a memory-laden journey, and a shocking discovery.

In 1565 Brussels, the reclusive mathematician Jan van den Bossche receives shattering news that his lifelong friend, the renowned and controversial anatomist Andreas Vesalius, has died on the Greek island of Zante returning from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Jan decides to journey to his friend's grave to offer his last goodbye.

Jan's sentimental and arduous journey to Greece with his assistant Marcus is marked by shared memories, recalled letters, and inner dialogues with Andreas, all devices to shed light on Andreas' development as a scientist, physician, and anatomist. But the journey also gradually uncovers a dark side of Andreas even as Jan yearns for the widow of Vesalius, Anne.

When Jan and Marcus finally arrive on Zante, the story takes a major twist as a disturbing mystery unfolds. Jan and Marcus are forced to take a drastic and risky measure that leads to a shocking discovery. On his return home, Jan learns that Andreas was an unknowing pawn in a standoff between King Philip of Spain, his employer, and Venice. When he arrives home in Brussels, he must finally reckon with his feelings for Anne.

A debut novel by Ron Blumenfeld, The King's Anatomist is a fascinating medical history blended eloquently with meaningful relationships and a riveting mystery. Set within a pivotal time in European history, the story carries readers through some of the most important medical discoveries while engaging them in a deeply personal story of growing older and confronting relationships. A fictional masterpiece with real and relevant historical sources, The King's Anatomist is as enlightening as it is enjoyable.

A revolutionary anatomist, a memory-laden journey, and a shocking discovery.

In 1565 Brussels, the reclusive mathematician Jan van den Bossche receives shattering news that his lifelong friend, the...


A Note From the Publisher

Hardcover - 9781736499009

Ebook - 9781736499016

Hardcover - 9781736499009

Ebook - 9781736499016


Advance Praise

"A historical novel with a twist. An old friend of the most famous of all anatomists, Andreas Vesalius, sets out to solve the mystery of his death on a Greek island. What he finds involves a tangle of acquaintances going back to their Brussels childhood and earlier dissections. This lively story combines fine historical detail with a sensitive feel for past personalities."
- Vivian Nutton, Hon FRCP, emeritus professor of the history of medicine, University College London

"In his imaginatively woven historical mystery, Ron Blumenfeld explores the life of the pioneering anatomist Andreas Vesalius amidst the turbulence of 16th-century Europe. Readers will enjoy a finely-tuned story infused with doses of Renaissance anatomy and art that highlight the groundbreaking achievements of Andreas Vesalius in these two linked disciplines. Blumenfeld's erudite adventure leaves the reader with tantalizing speculations."
- Philip Eliasoph, PhD, Professor of Art History & Visual Culture, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut

"With The King's Anatomist, Ron Blumenfeld has successfully crafted a story from disparate elements. Descriptions of Renaissance sciences, emerging European cities, and the pre-industrial countryside are intertwined with love gained and lost and the mystery of the death of Andreus Vesalius, the father of modern anatomy. The result is a plot of rich tapestry that leaves the reader panting for the next page, the next vignette along a journey from Brussels to the Greek Island of Zante and along another journey; that from childhood friendship to the grave. As with much fine literature, I was sorry to reach the last page."
- Maynard Paul Maidman, Professor Emeritus of History, York University, Canada

"Centered on the mysterious death of the great anatomist Andreas Vesalius, this enjoyable tale is anchored by scholarly literature. The device of a first-person account by an observant but hesitant "best friend" allows for vivid recreation of the many remarkable moments in the anatomist's life. Relying solidly on social and political history, it convincingly evokes the atmosphere of sixteenth-century Europe. The surprising but plausible ending will surely encourage readers to learn more."
- Jacalyn Duffin, MD, PhD, Professor Emerita, Hannah Chair of the History of Medicine, Queen's University, Canada

"A historical novel with a twist. An old friend of the most famous of all anatomists, Andreas Vesalius, sets out to solve the mystery of his death on a Greek island. What he finds involves a tangle...


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ISBN 9781732950894
PRICE US$16.95 (USD)

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