The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr Spencer Black by EB Hudspeth
Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages - and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts - mermaids, minotaur's, and satyrs - were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?
The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts - dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus - all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.
Author E.B. Hudspeth, has, through journals, newspaper reports, diaries and letters, made this pseudo-history seem almost real. Thanks to an unconventional youth as a grave-robbing ghoul, Spencer Black was destined to become a scientist, obsessed with reanimation. Parents eh? Black’s father unwittingly started something that would consume his son for a lifetime with tragic consequences.
This book charts a talented doctor and scientist’s descent from sanity, respectability and professionalism to obsession and madness, all sadly at the expense of his wife and children.
Hudspeth has cleverly juxtaposed a story about ghouls and mythology with the puritan values of nineteenth century America. Couple the story of the first part with the anatomical artwork and this is a very clever idea expertly executed.
It is a little thin on story, but that is perhaps a deliberate ploy to make Black more enigmatic and mysterious. Suffice to say, I read this quickly and was hooked throughout. This is a Gothic, tragic, and at times, shocking work of fiction. The artwork is beautiful as well as thought provoking; Hudspeth should be applauded for tackling a controversial subject of vivisectionist work and science against the backdrop of a highly moralistic society. Genius to madness has been covered before, but this is a moving and understated work where the realms of myth and fantasy meet the real world.
The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth
Published 2013 by Quirk Books
This The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr Spencer Black book review was written by Daniel Cann
Have you read The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr Spencer Black?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr Spencer Black reader reviews
8/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Machine Stops
Imagine, if you can, a small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee. It is lighted neither by window nor by lamp, yet it is filled with a soft radiance. There are...
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Handsome Dorian Gray has found the secret of eternal youth. As those around him age, Gray remains young and beautiful. Knowing his actions have no consequences he lives a w...
The Gormenghast Trilogy
Titus, heir to Lord Sepulchrave, has just been born: he stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that stand for Gormenghast Castle. Inside, all events are p...
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson
Murder and monstrosity on the streets of Victorian London. Nineteenth century London can be a very dangerous place. Beneath the prim and proper morals of Victorian society ...
The Haunting of Hill House
Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovel...
The Hound of the D'Urbervilles
Imagine the twisted evil twins of Holmes and Watson and you have the dangerous duo of Professor James Moriarty – wily, snake-like, fiercely intelligent, terrifyingly ...
A misguided scientist seeks to instill life in a creature he has assembled from the bodies of the dead....
This Dark Endeavour
In this prequel to Mary Shelley's gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor's tw...
When We Were Animals
A small, quiet Midwestern town, unremarkable save for one fact: when the local teenagers reach a certain age, they run wild. When Lumen Fowler looks back on her childhood, ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: