Gothic Remains

Corpses, Terror and Anatomical Culture, 1764–1897

Laurence Talairach

Gothic Remains

Laurence Talairach

Distributed for University of Wales Press

320 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Cloth $96.00 ISBN: 9781786834607 Published January 2020 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
The Gothic has always been fascinated with objects carrying with them a sense of horror – the decomposing body, the rigid corpse, the bleeding statue, the spectral skeleton – capable of creating a sublime form of beauty. Gothic Remains: Corpses, Terror and Anatomical Culture, 1764–1897 offers an exploration of those Gothic tropes and conventions that were most thoroughly steeped in the anatomical culture of the period – from skeletons, used to understand human anatomy, to pathological human remains exhibited in medical museums; from bodysnatching aimed at providing dissection subjects, to live-burials resulting from medical misdiagnoses and pointing to contemporary research into the signs of death. The historicist reading of canonical and less-known Gothic texts proposed throughout Gothic Remains, explored through the prism of anatomy, seeks to offer new insights into the ways in which medical practice and the medical sciences informed the aesthetics of pain and death typically read therein, and the two-way traffic that emerged between medical literature and literary texts.
Contents
Acknowledgements Introduction Rattling Bones: The Skeleton in the Trunk The Chamber of Horrors: Anatomical Models and the Gothic Body-snatching The Pandemonium of Chimeras: The Medical Museum Death Misdiagnosed: Gothic Live Burials Epilogue Notes
Review Quotes
Martin Willis, Cardiff University
 "Gothic Remains is a wonderful example of detailed interdisciplinary work in action. Laurence Talairach provides an utterly convincing argument of the imbrication of gothic literary culture with medical anatomy. In doing so, she reshapes the genre and adds significantly to the ever-growing body of scholarly work on romanticism and the sciences."
Andrew Mangham, University of Reading
"Gothic Remains offers a well-written, balanced, and informative overview of the rise of the medical gothic; its penetrative, interdisciplinary readings explore the long nineteenth century's reassessment of medical knowledge and its impact on questions of truth, materiality and humanity. This work will be of value to a wide range of scholars interested in literature, gothic, and the medical humanities."
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