Free Online

Wed, 24 June 2020

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT


Henry Marsh – A Life in Brain Surgery

In conversation with Erica Wagner

What is it like to be a brain surgeon? How does it feel to hold someone’s life in your hands? How do you live with the consequences when it all goes wrong?

Henry Marsh spent four decades operating on the human brain.

In that time he became renowned not only as a leading neurosurgeon but as one of modern medicine’s most eloquent, compassionate and humane figures, appearing as the subject of BBC documentaries including the Emmy-award-winning film The English Surgeon and earning acclaim for his internationally bestselling, award-winning memoirs Do No Harm and Admissions.

In this conversation with journalist and scholar Erica Wagner, he will reflect on the experiences that have shaped his career and life, gaining a deeper understanding of what matters to us all in the end.

With candour and compassion, we’ll hear Henry’s reflections on the past and future of the National Health Service; his reflections on the mysterious and sacred organ that produces our every thought and feeling; and his experiences pioneering surgery in the Ukraine and other nations.

He will reveal the exhilarating drama of surgery, the chaos and confusion of a busy modern hospital, and above all the need for hope when faced with life’s most agonising decisions.

Praise for Henry Marsh:

‘Wonderful…a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit’ – Financial Times

‘Sensational…Marsh is curmudgeonly, unflinching, clinical, competitive, often contemptuous and consistently curious. In Admissions he scrubs up just as well the second time around and continues to revel in his joyous candour.’ – Sunday Times

‘Superb…a eulogy to surgery and a study of living. I didn’t want this book to end. Henry Marsh is part of a growing canon of superb modern medical writers…whose storytelling and prose are transportative…His timing is also impeccable…His sentences, too, feel like works of the finest craftmanship, made with the love that goes into both his woodwork and surgery’ – Jessamy Calkin, Daily Telegraph

About Our Digital Programme:

In response to the global pandemic, How To Academy is curating a not-for-profit programme of live-streamed talks and conversations bringing you advice, insight and entertainment. Tickets are offered on a Pay What You Can basis, including a Free option for those who cannot afford more at this difficult time. Thank you for your help sustaining How To Academy through the crisis — and for enabling us to share new thinking from across the globe at a time when it has never been more important.

Books will be shipped within two weeks of the event (hopefully sooner). Please note that due to the challenges of distribution during the global pandemic, some books may be delayed. If we experience any delay in getting your copy to you, we will contact you by email to let you know. Thank you for supporting a local London business, Primrose Hill Books.

Henry Marsh

Leading English neurosurgeon and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

Henry Thomas Marsh CBE FRCS is a leading English neurosurgeon, and a pioneer of neurosurgical advances in Ukraine. Henry Marsh attended Oxford University before studying medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley’s/St George’s Hospital. He has written two widely acclaimed memoirs, Do No Harm and Admissions. He has been the subject of two major documentary films, Your Life In Their Hands and The English Surgeon, featuring his work in the Ukraine, which won an EMMY award.

Erica Wagner

Former literary editor of The Times, author and writer for the New Statesman.

Erica Wagner is an author, journalist, and editor.  Her latest book, Chief Engineer, a biography of Washington Roebling, garnered much praise. Twice a judge of the Man Booker Prize, she was literary editor of The Times  for seventeen years, and she is now a contributing writer for New Statesman as well as writing for many publications in Britain and the United States.