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Full description for Possessing the Dead

  • With a rare blend of curiosity, delight in the unexpected, and an eye for detail, this account explores the disturbing history of the cadaver trade in Australia, England, and Scotland. Drawing on a rich array of material--and using Australian Aboriginal cricketer Charles Rose's 1868 death in London as an example--this examination argues that no corpse lying in a workhouse, hospital, or asylum was entirely safe from interference despite the established laws that gave certain officials possession of the dead. Intriguing and informative, this chronicle reveals a gruesome past and the chicanery at play behind the procuring of bodies for dissections, autopsies, and collections.