Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: The History of Corpse Medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians

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Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: The History of Corpse Medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians

Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: The History of Corpse Medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians

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And yet the myths about cannibals in the furthest reaches of the New World only got started in earnest when cannibalism—sanctioned by church, state, and science—became a thing in the Old World.

Though it is the work of a well-known literary scholar, Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires invokes imaginative writing only to augment the evidence it draws from medical and scientific texts. I learned a lot that you can make Candles out of human fat, that there's a complex chain of retail businesses in corpse medicine throughout the 12th to 19th century. Richard Sugg says: “When writing the first edition of this book, I was continually shaking my head in amazement.The title recommends something more unusual, but in the end, this is really a work about Medicine and what Humans have used regarding saving peoples lives that would shock modern people. Richard Sugg’s book Mummies, Cannibals, and Vampires is valuable to both survey student and specialist alike. It contains descriptions of everything from men frying penises to a poor woman in a cold dungeon whose only method of insulating herself from the cold was to smear herself with her own dung. Presented along with Sugg’s own interpretations of what the strange events, and the way they were perceived, might tell us both about the society of the. The Ghostly Vicar - Many people are sceptical about the existence of ghosts, but one of the unusual features of ghost stories through the ages is the range of people who report seeing spectres, including those we might normally expect not to believe in them.

Sugg's interest in corpse medicine reaches well beyond mumia to inspect all those strange concoctions of human tissue and waste favoured by early modern pharmacology" – Michael Neill, London Review of Books. Medicinal cannibalism utilised the formidable weight of European science, publishing, trade networks and educated theory. A certain urban squeamishness, possibly on behalf of the imagined modern reader (some 2012 Daily Mail readers apparently stoutly refused to believe that Good King Charles II used corpse medicine) pervades some of the accounts as the 20 th century is approached.I also knew that some remedies in this class continued much longer than anyone in the 21 st century might care to think. The great irony is that some of it worked and that some of it is being rediscovered with a sort of wonder that those old ancestors could possibly have known such a thing – an angle that is touched only briefly by this book. This rich and authoritative account of beliefs about the medical efficacy of dead bodies is a fascinating, if gruesome, eye-opener. There was without doubt a chasm between rich and poor during the entire pre-NHS period (and only slowly diminishing post the foundation of that service).

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