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Perfection: The life and times of Sir William Manchester


Perfection is a fascinating biography of Sir William Manchester, who became an internationally renowned plastic surgeon. A country boy from rural Waimate, William became a battalion medical officer in the UK during the Second World War. Selected in 1941 to train as a plastic surgeon, he excelled in this ground-breaking new surgical craft.


In 1942 he was posted to Egypt to establish a plastic surgery unit for wounded New Zealand soldiers. After two years in Egypt, he returned to New Zealand, and he was instrumental in the development of the plastic surgery unit at Burwood Christchurch for both solider and civilians. In 1950 he established the plastic surgery unit at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, where he trained generations of young surgeons and nurses.


The authors have done a superb job in writing this well-crafted book, with the help of extensive archives left by Sir William. They also have personal knowledge of him, working with him as trainees and colleagues.


This is a handsome book, with many photographs and documents that add interest to the pages. It’s a wonderful tribute to a surgeon who did so much to help so many people, whose legacy continues long after his death in 2001.


Mary Egan Publishing

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