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  • Published: 5 December 2023
  • ISBN: 9781784709365
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $30.00

And Finally

Matters of Life and Death, the Sunday Times bestseller from the author of DO NO HARM

From the No.1 bestselling author of Do No Harm, an unflinching and deeply personal exploration of death, life and what matters in the end.

From the No.1 bestselling author of Do No Harm, an entrancing and uplifting meditation on the gift of life.

‘A book to treasure and reread’ Gavin Francis, author of Adventures in Human Being

As a retired brain surgeon, Henry Marsh thought he understood illness, but even he was unprepared for the impact of his diagnosis of advanced cancer.

In And Finally, he navigates the bewildering transition from doctor to patient. As the days pass, his mind turns to his career, to the people and places he has known, and to creative projects still to be completed.

Yet he is also more entranced than ever by the mysteries of science and nature, by his love for his family, and – most of all – by what it is to be alive.

* A Daily Telegraph, The Times and Financial Times Book of the Year *

‘Magnificent’ Rachel Clarke

‘Vividly wry and honest’ The Times

‘I admire this book enormously’ Philip Pullman

‘Enthralling’ Guardian

  • Published: 5 December 2023
  • ISBN: 9781784709365
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $30.00

About the author

Henry Marsh

Henry Marsh is one of the country's foremost neurosurgeons and the bestselling author of two volumes of medical memoir, Do No Harm and Admissions. Both books were Sunday Times No. 1 bestsellers, and have been translated into over twenty languages. Do No Harm was awarded the South Bank Sky Arts Award and the PEN Ackerley Prize, and was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award, Duff Cooper Prize, Wellcome Book Prize and Guardian First Book Award. He was made CBE is 2010. Since retiring from full-time work in the NHS in 2015, Henry Marsh continues to operate and lecture abroad. He is married to the anthropologist Kate Fox, and lives in London and Oxford.

Praise for And Finally

In the contemplation of death Marsh illuminates the gift of life, rendering it even more precious. And Finally has all the candour, elegance and revelation we've come to expect from Marsh. I read it straight through carried along by the force of its prose and the beauty of its ideas. It's a book to treasure and reread; I'm very grateful for it.


In this superb meditation on life and death, Henry Marsh tackles the matter of mortality with all his trademark wit, wisdom, grace and humility. He turns his formidable intellect and scalpel-sharp prose on himself as well as the medical profession - with marvellous results. Unflinching, profound and deeply humane, And Finally is magnificent.

Rachel Clarke, author of DEAR LIFE

And Finally is a close and courageous look at the prospect of death by someone who has seen it more clearly and more often than most of us, and who writes with great fluency and grace. Henry Marsh is a great neurosurgeon: he is also a very fine writer. I admire this book enormously.

Philip Pullman, author of HIS DARK MATERIALS

Who better to ponder immortality, the threshold between states, fear, regret and what gives us meaning, than somebody who has lived a life constantly in-between. We should give thanks to Marsh, who despite facing his own mortality, allows us to come along for this poignant and vivid journey.

Molly Case, author of HOW TO TREAT PEOPLE

Vividly wry and honest... this slender, elegant book... is very much a memoir of enlightenment; the humbling, late in life, of a man of great skill and status... A wise and warm narrator, and his book will bring comfort to many - and educate doctors.

Melanie Reid, The Times

Beautifully written... A thoughtful journey into his experience as a doctor-turned-patient, enlivened with a wonderful black humour and a gimlet eye for comforting nonsense... One couldn't wish for a better guide.

Steven Poole, Daily Telegraph, 5 stars

Henry Marsh may have retired from medicine but let's hope he keeps producing books as good as this one, which enthral as well as teach.


[And Finally] is unexpectedly fun, and the author is pretty much irresistibly likeable... diagnoses and remissions are described with wonderful candour... [and Marsh's] discussion of end-of-life care and assisted dying is the best essay I have read on the subject.


[Marsh is] deeply reflective, the result is a bit like sitting in the pub with the smartest person you know.


Brilliant... [a] ruminative, magisterial, self-questioning, poignant, funny and slightly bonkers memoir.

Mail on Sunday

A beautifully written collection of memories, thoughts and life lessons... And Finally will no doubt prompt others to contemplate their own existence and, more importantly, recognise what is truly worth living for.

Financial Times

[A] fascinating unusually revelatory, ultimately conflicted and poignant account.

Times Literary Supplement

Marsh... writes with appealing candour about his reluctance to investigate his own symptoms... [and he] is often drily funny.

Literary Review

A surprisingly entertaining, informative report on what happens when an eminent neurosurgeon suddenly becomes the frightened patient... This is a valuable book from the front line of ageing. It may be called And Finally - that slightly droll tone is typical - and it may suggest a closing down, but its gift is open-handedness, a wise and Janus-like looking forward and back.

Kathleen Jamie, New Statesman

An outstanding writer.


Marsh shares his journey with a dark yet whimsical humour, and ponders too the eternal mysteries of time.

Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year

A haunting memoir from someone who has spent a career at the fragile border between life and death, now confronting the prospect of his own crossing.

Financial Times, Books of the Year

The ever-candid neurosurgeon Henry Marsh describes what it felt like, after a cancer diagnosis, to become part of "the underclass of patients", losing his status as a godlike doctor. He is also grimly humorous about what cancer treatment did to him.

The Times, Books of the Year

No man deserves recognition more than Henry Marsh, surgeon, humanitarian and author.


As ever he writes beautifully, his interest in the human body and mind as hummingly alive as ever.

Metro, Best Non-Fiction of 2022

His dignified introspection is a joy.

Clare Chambers, author of SMALL PLEASURES