John Keats has vividly described his excitement on seeing for the first time Chapman's translation of Homer. I had a somewhat similar experience in 1942.

During my early surgical training in Australia, the only grafts I learned about, apart from blood transfusion, were autografts of skin, bone and fascia, and allografts (called homografts in those days) of cornea. I was iguorant of the numerous attempts by surgeons to use allografts of skin, and of the long controversy about whether these did or did not behave like autografts. I assumed, if I thought about it at all, that autografts were used simply as a matter of convenience, except in the case of cornea where this was obviously impossible.

Therefore it came as a complete surprise when, as a prisoner of war in Singapore, I happened to read, in a copy of Rodney Honor Maingot's Postgraduate Surgery that we had managed to...

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