Murdering to Dissect: Grave-robbing, Frankenstein and the Anatomy Literature
When Frankenstein appeared in 1818 it was well known that the medical profession lent silent support to the grave-robbing gangs who regulary sold the surgeons newly-buried bodies for dissection. This resurection trade led to the sensational Burke and Hare case, which revealed that the bodies of murder victims had been pased to the Edinburgh surgeon Dr Robert Knox with his connivance.
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The dead body business
The contented executioner in Barnaby Rudge
Multiaccentuation in On Murder considered as one
The instruments of law
The death command anatomy and the law
S The medical gaze and popular culture
the 1780s and 1790s
Frankenstein and the resurrectionist culture 17961825
Disease deformity and dissection
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Anatomy Act animal appears association becomes Bentham body Burke and Hare called Canetti carried century claim Clerval command concerned context corpse course creation Creature Creature's criminal crowd culture dead death describes desire developments Dickens dissection early Edinburgh edition effect Elizabeth England event example existence eyes face fact father fear feelings figure Frankenstein gallows give given hand historical human Ibid identity italics Justine kind legislation letter living looks marks Mary means mind monster mother move murder nature never noted object observes original passage perception person political poor popular poverty present promise punishment question reference Reform relation relatives remains remarkable respect rhetoric Richardson scene sense Shelley shows Smith social society stands sting story surgeons threat transformation turn utilitarian victims voice workhouse