Title BODYSNATCHERS: A HISTORY OF THE RESURRECTIONISTS 1742-1832.
Publisher Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1988.
Seller ID 23003
184 pp, 8vo (8 3/4" H), hard cover in dust jacket. ISBN 0297793934 B&w illustrations. "From 1740 to 1832, freshly buried corpses were dug up and surreptitiously hawked to surgeons and anatomists in London and Edinburgh to dissect for research and teaching purposes. The resurrection trade brought together Fellows of the Royal Society and slum-dwelling criminals in an unholy alliance. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the illicit trade had become one of London's most effic i e n t l y o rganized departments of crime, with gang-leader Ben Crouch securing a virtual monopoly of delivery to half the teaching hospitals. In Scotland, several surgeons of great eminence loved the adventure of association with desperadoes and w il li ng ly a c co mpanied them on their nocturnal excavations. Not surprisingly, there was great public consternation about the activities of the bodysnatchers, but it was only when Burke and Hare introduced murder as a means of acquiring 'sub jec ts' th at the au th ori ties acted to eradicate the ghoulish practice. Martin Fido's book is an enthralling study of a strange byway of criminal low life. It provides the first full and accurate accounts of murderers Helen Torrence and Jean Wald ie, Bish op and Head an d El iza Ross. With sketches of the great surgeons who encouraged and sought to control the trade, 'Bodysnatchers' will interest many in the medical profession and social historians as well as devotees of the true crim e gen re." Pev iou s ow ner's nam e/dat e on free front endpaper and embossed stamp on half-title page. Dust jacket has one tiny edge tear archivally taped. Very Good/Very Good