The Facemaker

One Surgeon's Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I

IF EVER there was a biography crying out to be written, this is it!

Honest and authentic, this book is about Cambridge-educated New Zealander Sir Harold Delf Gillies OBE FRCS – amedical hero with a major hand in pioneering facial re-construction for horrifically wounded men.

While at times this makes for distressing reading, the muscular descriptions of Gillies’ dedication to his work carry us through each page with refreshing clarity. It’s astonishing how his biographer has turned her whole treasure of research into a brave masterpiece of enthralling, mighty readability.

What such superb storytelling encourages in us today is an appreciation of this much neglected area of medical history. War, we can surmise, inspired the science of plastic surgery as Gillies used every ounce of his genius to give these men back their identities. The true stories of patients treated by this kind, lively, intelligent family man who loved a good game of golf, are written with care and sensitivity.

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