Death, Dissection and the Destitute / Edition 2

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Until 1832 dissection-much hated and much feared-was restricted to the corpses of hanged murderers. Bodysnatching was rife. The 1832 Anatomy Act, however, appropriated instead the corpses of the poor, effectively rendering dissection a punishment for poverty. Death, Dissection and the Destitute reveals why fear of the pauper funeral so afflicted the nineteenth-century poor. Ruth Richardson's book opens rich prospects in history and the history of science. Her new afterword draws important parallels between historical and current concerns about the body, organs for transplant, and human tissue for research.

How parliamentary politics determined the fate of dead criminals and paupers in Victorian England.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226712406
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Richardson is a historian living in London.
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Table of Contents

I. The Body
1. The Corpse and Popular Culture
2. The Corpse as an Anatomical Object
3. The Corpse as a Commodity
II. The Act
4. The Sanctity of the Grave Asserted
5. Foregone Conclusions
6. 'Trading Assassins'
7. Alternative Necrology
8. Bringing 'Science to the Poor Man's Door'
III. The Aftermath
9. The Act 'is Uninjurious if Unknown'
10. The Bureaucrat's Bad Dream
11. The Unpardonable Offence
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