Murdering to Dissect: Grave-Robbing, Frankenstein and the Anatomy Literature

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7039.1172a (Published 04 May 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1172
  1. Bernard Knight

    Tim Marshall Manchester University Press, £15.95, pp 354 ISBN 0 7190 4543 6

    Three 19th century topics, all morbidly associated with death, still seem to grab the reading public. Jack the Ripper spawns an annual rash of books with yet more theories as to “who dunnit”; premature burial fascinates with descriptions of coffins fitted with alarms; and the “resurrection men” who stole bodies for the anatomists continue to exercise authors.

    Murdering to Dissect falls into the last category, its title a quotation from Wordsworth. It is a very serious work, really a thesis setting out to link Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with the Anatomy Act of 1832. Written by a lecturer …

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