Coping with the Displaced Corpse: Medicine, Truth, and Masculinity in Varney the Vampyre
This chapter develops the analysis of the medical figure started in Chapter 2, shifting the focus from ethics in general to humanity/empathy specifically, using the presence of an actual supernatural monster—a vampire—as the scale on which the medical practitioner’s in/humanity is measured. The chapter examines the ‘gothic’ mad doctor figure in Varney, i.e. the series’ participation in the mad scientist literary trend, exploring the popular culture and extra-medical discourses that informed it. Finally, the chapter introduces the concept of truth, that is the degree of clarity, or rather obscurity, that characterized both the Act itself and the medical community’s behaviour towards the public.
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