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Dying for Victorian Medicine - English Anatomy and its Trade in the Dead Poor, c.1834 - 1929

Dying for Victorian Medicine - English Anatomy and its Trade in the Dead Poor, c.1834 - 1929, published by Palgrave Macmillan in December 2011.

Dying for Victorian Medicine - English Anatomy and its Trade in the Dead Poor, c.1834 - 1929

New book by recent appointee to School of Historical Studies

In the nineteenth century the business of anatomy was very profitable. However, existing in a Victorian underworld, its shadowy details and potential links to the Jack-the-Ripper murders were seldom exposed. In this accessible and vibrant account, Elizabeth Hurren brings to life lost pauper stories recovered from the asylums, infirmaries, workhouses, body dealers, railway men and undertakers that supplied the medical profession with dissection subjects. The details of those trading networks, corpse sales, body parts fees, railway transportation costs and funeral expenses have never been documented before now, yet this economy of supply in the dead underpinned modern medicine. In Dying for Victorian Medicine, Hurren allows us to look for the first time into the human face of abject poverty, working back in the archives from death to touch the lives of those compelled by pauperism to give up a loved one's body for dissection.

'Hurren takes up where Richardson left off to explore the demography, geography, culture, finance and socioeconomic dimensions of dissection. She successfully combines elements of the storyteller with penetrating historical insights to chart the growing complexities of the trade in cadavers after 1832. The result is a groundbreaking and exciting study of the dissected as 'matter out of place' that never loses sight of the poor or of the fear and impact of dissection.' Keir Waddington, Cardiff University, UK

Elizabeth T. Hurren was Reader in the History of Medicine at Oxford Brookes University, and will be Reader in the Medical Humanities in the School of Historical Studies at Leicester University from February 2012. She is a leading expert on the history of anatomy and the body, poverty and welfare.

  • Title: Dying for Victorian Medicine - English Anatomy and its Trade in the Dead Poor, c.1834 - 1929
  • Author: Elizabeth T. Hurren
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Published: 12 Dec 2011
  • ISBN-13: 9780230219663
  • Pages: 400
  • Price: £65

Click here for more information on the publisher's website.

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