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Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Do any of you know this book [Details]?

Asked by Espiritus_Corvus (17269points) November 23rd, 2015

The setting is Boston just before the Revolution. The main character is a doctor who recognizes early in his career that he is almost helpless in aiding his female patients with their unique maladies due to the lack of the development of gynecology. He wants to study female physiology further, but the only corpses doctors could legally get for study were male. To disfigure a female corpse in this way for any reason was illegal considered an abominable act by the general public. So, he regularly pays miscreants to steal female corpses from the graveyards around Boston for dissection.

The war breaks out. Soon after, his body snatchers are caught, rat him out, and he leaves his residence just before the authorities get there. He runs down to the harbor, stows away aboard an outgoing American privateer and becomes ship’s surgeon.

I lost the book at that point and was never able to finish it. That was about twenty years ago. It was a very exciting read.

Does anyone know this book, or a book or film like it?

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3 Answers

Seek's avatar

Ooh, I don’t know, but when you find out let me know. I want to read it, too.

janbb's avatar

Throwing red meat to a reference librarian but I have miles to go before I sleep. I’ll try to get back to it.

Was it fiction or non-fiction?

janbb's avatar

Don’t think John Denison Hartshorne is your man but this is a pretty fascinating article about the journal he kept while a Boston physician’s apprentice.

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