“And Send Her Well-Dos’d to the Grave”: Literary Medical Horror
Medical horror includes autonomous changes in the body by natural or accidental occurrences—disease, injury, age, death—as well as interactions with medical institutions and their authorities. Kremmel argues that the figure of the physician and location of the medical space inherit many characteristics of the tyrant and the castle found in classic horror texts. These literary tropes become subsumed onto scientific settings and situations that shift horror from external supernatural threat to internal anatomical threat. Medical horror draws from and heightens fears of the body, as well as of medical institutions and authorities. Kremmel surveys a variety of medical horror texts from the eighteenth through the twenty-first centuries, including focused discussions of authors Matthew Lewis, Samuel Warren, Mrs. Carver, Ira Levin, Robin Cook, and Catriona Ward.
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