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Curious afterlives: the enduring appeal of the criminal corpse.pdf (464.31 kB)

Curious afterlives: the enduring appeal of the criminal corpse

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posted on 2016-10-24, 14:09 authored by Sarah Tarlow
Not only did the criminal corpse have actual medicinal and magical power for Europeans, it also had social and cultural meaning as an object, a curio or secular relic. This paper considers the appeal of notorious bodies. From books bound in the skin of a criminal, to preserved and exhibited heads, from fragments of the hangman's rope to the exhibition of the skeleton, the story of the afterlife of criminal bodies and the material culture most immediately associated with them begins with the collection and exchange of bodies and moves into contemporary preoccupations with authenticity. This paper considers the bodies of three notorious criminals of the eighteenth century: Eugene Aram, William Burke and William Corder. It ends with some reflections on the glamour of the authentic body of a notorious or celebrated individual - using the response to the discovery of the body of Richard III as an example.

History

Citation

Mortality, 2016, 21 (3), pp. 210-228

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Archaeology and Ancient History/Core Staff

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Mortality

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

issn

1357-6275

eissn

1469-9885

Copyright date

2016

Available date

2016-10-24

Publisher version

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13576275.2016.1181328

Language

en

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