Historical, fictional and illustrative readings of the vivisected body 1873-1913

Loveridge, A. (2017) Historical, fictional and illustrative readings of the vivisected body 1873-1913. D.Phil. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Abstract

This thesis analyses why the practice of vivisection captured the imagination of a small section of late-Victorian society, and how these individuals articulated their concerns. By adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this study brings together the texts of both anti and pro-vivisectionists to place literary texts alongside medical textbooks and illustrations, essays and campaigning leaflets to suggest a representation of the vivisector throughout the different texts assembled. The first chapter explores the interaction, in print, between activist Frances Power Cobbe and physiologist, Elie de Cyon alongside the ways in which the antivivisectionists used images of vivisected animals, sourced from scientific manuals, to assist in constructing the movement’s identity. The second chapter analyses the lecture notes of two young medical students published as The Shambles of Science (1903) and how the authors strived to secure a literary representation for pain. These findings will then pave the way for an examination of how anti-vivisection rhetoric influenced fiction. The next chapter is concerned with the relationship between the ‘heart’ and ‘science’ and considers the more positive outcomes for those existing on the periphery of scientific experimentation. The fourth chapter examines the relationship between vivisection and hydrophobia, while simultaneously considering the implications of nurturing the young vivisector. The final chapter examines how the signature of the vivisectionist can be read through the incisions made on the surface of the opened body. By delving into these interactive, textual and imaginative bodies, this chapter explores the ways in which the vivisected body, traced by the scalpel and relayed by the instrumentation of the laboratory became a literary object.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vivisection; late-Victorian society
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Mrs Michaela Loos-Page
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2018 12:12
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2018 20:31
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/16756

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00