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So Very Silent

John Pemble: Victorian Corpse Trade

25 October 2012
Dying for Victorian Medicine: English Anatomy and Its Trade in the Dead Poor, c.1834-1929 
by Elizabeth Hurren.
Palgrave, 380 pp., £65, December 2011, 978 0 230 21966 3
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Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist and the London Poor 
by Ruth Richardson.
Oxford, 370 pp., £16.99, February 2012, 978 0 19 964588 6
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... but one of the darkest is being explored only now. The workhouses collaborated with the medical profession to supply anatomy teachers with corpses for dissection. In Dying for Victorian Medicine, ElizabethHurren uncovers a sordid trade that commoditised human remains. At the consumer end of the market were the medical schools, avid for dissection material following increases in 1858 and 1885 to the ...

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