By L. Noble
Medicinal Cannibalism in Early glossy English Literature and tradition examines a massive second within the lengthy background of the scientific use and abuse of the human physique. In early smooth Protestant England, the fragmented corpse was once processed, circulated, and ingested as a precious drug in a clinical economic system underpinned by way of a brutal judicial approach. In a meticulous engagement with an in depth diversity of scientific, non secular, and literary texts, Louise Noble indicates how early sleek writers turned captivated with medicinal cannibalism and its uncanny hyperlink to the contested Eucharist sacrament. within the strategy, Noble issues out startling continuities among early sleek and modern scientific consumptions of the physique.
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Additional info for Medicinal Cannibalism in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (Early Modern Cultural Studies)
55 This means of servicing scientific curiosity was not, of course, restricted to London. The Town Council of Edinburgh, for example, was quite liberal in granting bodies for dissection, legislating in 1694 that unclaimed corpses, “all of which who shall nobody to own them”— comprising those who died in the Correction House, foundlings, children stif led at birth, those found dead upon the streets, and those who were murdered— would be made available as subjects “upon which . . indd 26 3/1/2011 4:10:30 PM Th e Mu m m y C u r e 27 anatomy per year— not only suggests a regular occurrence of anatomies, but reinforces the fact that the state assumed proprietary rights over the bodies of its socially disenfranchised citizens.
Indd 30 3/1/2011 4:10:31 PM Th e Mu m m y C u r e 31 Harvey’s words illustrate not only the cannibalistic nature of bloody anatomical spectacles but also the lucrative nature of a medical market for human flesh that existed as much for profit and individual performance as for the expectation of scientific discovery. Furthermore, the anatomy theater was not only the public arena for exploiting the seemingly boundless pharmacological potential of a corpse. Cannibalistic acts were frequently part of the spectacle at the execution site itself.
Property rights, however, do not seem to be an issue here as the purported behavior of Summers and the surgeon defy the English common-law principle that denies all people property rights over their own bodies and forbids them to sell their bodies or body parts or purchase those of another person60 Certainly, the early modern corpse economy flies in the face of any such principle. In today’s medical market, this common-law principle that an individual does not have property rights over their body is tested at many levels.
Medicinal Cannibalism in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (Early Modern Cultural Studies) by L. Noble