Thursday, November 6, 2014

Raising the Dead - Andy Dougan

Subtitle: The Men Who Created Frankenstein

This was a strange find, again, something I picked up to read while travelling and finished up when I got home.  It' an historical account of the attempts in the 18th and early 19th centuries to bring a person back to life.  Th scientists and physicians of the day were trying to understand how electricity affected the body.  Their attempts seem quaint and ridiculous now but science has to start somewhere. In this time physicians were finally allowed to dissect cadavers and examine how the heart, lungs, brain and nervous system operated.  The bodies were usually those of criminals that had been hung and when those ran out, paupers graves were robbed.  There's backgroun on the age of romanticism that followed the age of reason and the enlightenment for historical context.  

The author explains how Mary Shelly, the author of Frankenstein, came to know of the experiments being done and probably used them to create her story.  Her husband, the poet Shelly, and their friends assoicated with the thinkers and philosophers of the day and I always like getting an understanding of who were contemporaries in a certain age.  

It's a grizzly but interesting tale, Erin, this one's for you!

Published:  2008  Read: November 2014  Genre: History

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