Possessing The Dead

Helen MacDonald
Winner, Non-Fiction, Prime Minister's Literary Award, 2011
Winner, History Book Non-Fiction Book, QLD Premier’s Literary Awards, 2011
Winner, Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction, VIC Premier's Literary Awards, 2011
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Possessing The Dead

Possessing The Dead

Helen MacDonald
Winner, Non-Fiction, Prime Minister's Literary Award, 2011
Winner, History Book Non-Fiction Book, QLD Premier’s Literary Awards, 2011
Winner, Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction, VIC Premier's Literary Awards, 2011
Possessing the Dead explores the disturbing history of the cadaver trade in Scotland, England and Australia.
London, 1868: visiting Australian Aboriginal cricketer Charles Rose has died in Guy's Hospital. What happened next is shrouded in mystery. The only certainty is that Charles Rose's body did not go directly to a grave.
Written with clarity and verve, and drawing on a rich array of material, Possessing the Dead explores the disturbing history of the cadaver trade in Scotland, England and Australia, where laws once gave certain officials possession of the dead, and no corpse lying in a workhouse, hospital, asylum or gaol was entirely safe from interference.
With a rare blend of curiosity, delight in the unexpected and an eye for detail, award-winning historian Helen MacDonald brings to life this gruesome past to reveal the chicanery at play behind the procuring of bodies for dissections, autopsies and collections.
London, 1868: visiting Australian Aboriginal cricketer Charles Rose has died in Guy's Hospital. What happened next is shrouded in mystery. The only certainty is that Charles Rose's body did not go directly to a grave.
Written with clarity and verve, and drawing on a rich array of material, Possessing the Dead explores the disturbing history of the cadaver trade in Scotland, England and Australia, where laws once gave certain officials possession of the dead, and no corpse lying in a workhouse, hospital, asylum or gaol was entirely safe from interference.
With a rare blend of curiosity, delight in the unexpected and an eye for detail, award-winning historian Helen MacDonald brings to life this gruesome past to reveal the chicanery at play behind the procuring of bodies for dissections, autopsies and collections.

About the author

Helen MacDonald

Helen MacDonald is the author of Possessing the Dead and the critically acclaimed Human Remains, which won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award (History) and was short-listed for the Ernest Scott History Prize. She is a Senior Fellow at The Australian Centre in the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne.

About Helen MacDonald

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