The Doctor Dissected
A Cultural Autopsy of the Burke and Hare Murders
Reviews and Awards
"Written with enthusiasm and reach, The Doctor Dissected examines works from three centuries which compulsively imagine and re-imagine one of the nineteenth century's most notorious crimes. Perceptively and tenaciously, Caroline McCracken-Flesher explores an outrage so scandalous that it added a new word to the English language. She shows how this crime has fascinated writers, filmmakers and others in Scotland and far beyond over many generations." --Robert Crawford, author of Scotland's Books
"In The Doctor Dissected, Caroline McCracken-Flesher shows how the sensational, grisly serial killings of 1820s Edinburgh still reverberate through Scottish popular culture. From Sir Walter Scott to Ian Rankin, each generation has resurrected and reimagined the dark secrets lying at the heart of medical progress. This is required reading for anyone on a cultural tour of Scotland." --Lisa Rosner, author of The Anatomy Murders
"Asking why the Burke-Hare-Knox anatomy murders still haunt national consciousness, Caroline McCracken-Flesher argues that Scots use this true Edinburgh horror story to define and refine their self-image, presenting her compelling case with surgical precision and scalpel-sharp wit." --Jamie Davies, Professor of Experimental Anatomy, University of Edinburgh.
"A fascinating look at how the murders have resounded through almost two hundred years of literature and drama." --The Commercial Dispatch
"Never less than engaging and intelligent...This is an immensely valuable work of scholarship that serves to make sense of the imaginative legacy of Burke and Hare and to place it squarely within a complex and richly textured cultural and political context." --Bulletin of the History of Medicine