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The London dissector, or System of dissection practised in the hospitals and lecture rooms of the metropolis: explained by the clearest rules, for the use of students: comprising a description of the muscles, vessels, nerves, and viscera of the human body, as they appear on dissection: with directions for their demonstration, 1809

In detail, Hooper instructs medical students on how to do human dissections, as they were done in London hospitals and medical schools in the early 19th century. At this time, dissection became an integral part of medical education, as well as a social and political issue. Questions arose about how to meet the growing demand for cadavers and the ethics of dissection. Some suppliers resorted to stealing corpses from graves, prompting the British Parliament to enact laws that regulated the procurement of bodies for educational purposes. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) reflects the focus on dissection during Mary Shelley's time. Victor Frankenstein, an anatomist, visits graveyards, charnel houses, and dissection rooms of hospitals to acquire the parts needed to assemble his creature.

Courtesy National Library of Medicine

Title page of a book.
  • Topic:

  • Creator:

    Robert Hooper (1773–1838)