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The Butchering Art: Victorian Medicine, From Blood-Caked Aprons and Body Snatching, to Antiseptic

“Ticketed spectators watched anatomists slice into the distended bellies of decomposing corpses, parts gushing forth not only human blood but also fetid pus. The lilting but incongruous notes of a flute sometimes accompanied the macabre demonstration. Public dissections were theatrical performances,” writes Dr.…