October Reading:

The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson

Take a break from the doomscrolling to read something a little more cheerful. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the Body Snatcher in 1884, an account of the extremes that anatomy instructors would go to in the name of medical research:

“Somewhat as two vultures may swoop upon a dying lamb, Fettes and Macfarlane were to be let loose upon a grave in that green and quiet resting-place. The wife of a farmer, a woman who had lived for sixty years, and been known for nothing but good butter and a godly conversation, was to be rooted from her grave at midnight and carried, dead and naked, to that far-away city that she had always honoured with her Sunday’s best; the place beside her family was to be empty till the crack of doom; her innocent and almost venerable members to be exposed to that last curiosity of the anatomist.”

Stevenson is best remembered as a young adult adventure writer, but many noted writers, among them Henry James and Joseph Conrad, were influenced by his books. For certain, Kidnapped, is a tour de force.

Happy Halloween and here’s a link to Gutenberg: The Body Snatcher

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