Adventures In Human Being [Book Of The Week]

Episodes

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Broadcast
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042015061120200417 (BBC7)
20200416 (BBC7)

Gavin Francis leads us through a cultural map of the body – an adventure in what it means to be human. Drawing on his own experiences as a physician and writer, he blends first-hand case studies with reflections on the way the body has been imagined and portrayed over millennia.

The liver is a mysterious organ - essential to life, multifarious in its actions, its tissue unusual in being able to regenerate.

Ancient cultures used the livers of sacrificed animals to predict events; Biblical kings planned wars according to what the liver foretold. Livers appear in the proverbs of eastern Europe and in the folk tales gathered by the Brothers Grimm. And when a young gardener scratches her finger on a thorn and falls into a coma, it might be her liver which saves her life.

Read by Bill Paterson
Abridged by Jo Coombs

Produced by Hannah Marshall
A Loftus production first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2015.

Physician Gavin Francis\u2019 journey round the body reaches the mysterious organ - the liver.

Serialised book readings, featuring works from various genres