The Unknown Labyrinth: Radicalism, the Body, and the Anatomy Act in The Mysteries of London

  • Anna Gasperini
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


This chapter discusses how G.W.M. Reynolds’s political aesthetics discussed issues related to the Anatomy Act and the disposal of the pauper’s body. To examine this most political among the selected narratives, the chapter extends the concept of power related to the Act to the social discussion of power and poverty in Mysteries. The notion of ‘vertical space’ likewise answers to the narrative’s political message, which represents the fall through the murderous trapdoor and subsequent dissection as something that can befall the poor and the rich alike. The chapter also explicitly connects the spaces of poverty and hospitals in the Victorian metropolis, framing them as the narrative’s chosen area for reviving the crimes connected to medicine and anatomy.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Gasperini
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarPerugiaItaly

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