The Gothic has always been fascinated with objects carrying with them a sense of horror – the decomposing body, the rigid corpse, the bleeding statue, the spectral skeleton – capable of creating a sublime form of beauty. Gothic Remains: Corpses, Terror and Anatomical Culture, 1764–1897 offers an exploration of those Gothic tropes and conventions which were most thoroughly steeped in the anatomical culture of the period – from skeletons, used to understand human anatomy, to pathological human remains exhibited in medical museums; from bodysnatching aimed at providing dissection subjects to live-burials resulting from medical misdiagnosis and pointing to contemporary research into the signs of death. The historicist reading of canonical and less known Gothic texts which is proposed throughout Gothic Remains, explored through the prism of anatomy, seeks to offer new insights into the ways in which medical practice and the medical sciences informed the aesthetics of pain and death typically read therein, and the two-way traffic that emerged between medical literature and literary texts.
Rattling Bones: The Skeleton in the Trunk
The Chamber of Horrors: Anatomical Models and the Gothic
The Pandemonium of Chimeras: The Medical Museum
Death Misdiagnosed: Gothic Live Burials
Laurence Talairach is Professor of English at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès, and associate researcher at the Alexandre Koyré Centre for the History of Science and Technology (UMR 8560). Her research specialises on the interrelations between nineteenth-century literature, medicine and science.