The Anatomy Murders: Being the True and Spectacular History of Edinburgh's Notorious Burke and Hare and of the Man of Science Who Abetted Them in the Commission of Their Most Heinous Crimes

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University of Pennsylvania Press, 7 juli 2011 - 336 sidor

Up the close and down the stair,
Up and down with Burke and Hare.
Burke's the butcher, Hare's the thief,
Knox the man who buys the beef.

—anonymous children's song

On Halloween night 1828, in the West Port district of Edinburgh, Scotland, a woman sometimes known as Madgy Docherty was last seen in the company of William Burke and William Hare. Days later, police discovered her remains in the surgery of the prominent anatomist Dr. Robert Knox. Docherty was the final victim of the most atrocious murder spree of the century, outflanking even Jack the Ripper's. Together with their accomplices, Burke and Hare would be accused of killing sixteen people over the course of twelve months in order to sell the corpses as "subjects" for dissection. The ensuing criminal investigation into the "Anatomy Murders" raised troubling questions about the common practices by which medical men obtained cadavers, the lives of the poor in Edinburgh's back alleys, and the ability of the police to protect the public from cold-blooded murder.

Famous among true crime aficionados, Burke and Hare were the first serial killers to capture media attention, yet The Anatomy Murders is the first book to situate their story against the social and cultural forces that were bringing early nineteenth-century Britain into modernity. In Lisa Rosner's deft treatment, each of the murder victims, from the beautiful, doomed Mary Paterson to the unfortunate "Daft Jamie," opens a window on a different aspect of this world in transition. Tapping into a wealth of unpublished materials, Rosner meticulously portrays the aspirations of doctors and anatomists, the makeshift existence of the so-called dangerous classes, the rudimentary police apparatus, and the half-fiction, half-journalism of the popular press.

The Anatomy Murders resurrects a tale of murder and medicine in a city whose grand Georgian squares and crescents stood beside a maze of slums, a place in which a dead body was far more valuable than a living laborer.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Användarrecension  - rosielibrarian - LibraryThing

A fascinating story but it got a bogged down in several places with details about other crimes and criminal cases in Edinburgh. The author obviously did extensive research, but I wanted her to focus more on Burke and Hare. Läs hela recensionen

The Anatomy Murders: Being the True and Spectacular History of Edinburgh's Notorious Burke and Hare and of the Man of Science Who Abetted Them in the Commission of Their Most Heinous Crimes

Användarrecension  - Not Available - Book Verdict

From 1827 to 1828, William Burke and William Hare murdered 16 people in order to meet demands for corpses to be used in medical research, and Dr. Robert Knox paid them for the delivery of fresh ... Läs hela recensionen

Innehåll

The Burke and Hare Murders
1
The Corpus Delicti
9
The Anatomy Wars
25
Burking Invented
53
Sold to Dr Knox
79
Based on a True Story
100
The Dangerous Classes
126
Anonymous Subjects
147
Crime Scene Edinburgh
187
Day in Court
212
All That Remains
245
Cast of Characters
271
Notes
277
Selected Bibliography
301
Index
319
Acknowledgments
327

The Criminal Mind
168

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Om författaren (2011)

Lisa Rosner is Professor of History at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and author of The Most Beautiful Man in Existence: The Scandalous Life of Alexander Lesassier, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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