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Dracula for Doctors: Medical Facts and Gothic Fantasies
Fiona Subotsky
Royal College of Psychiatrists / Softcover / 2019-12-01 / 191162329X
General Practice / History
price: $37.95 (may be subject to change)
216 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 7-10 business days

Exploring how medicine and psychiatry are portrayed in gothic literature, this engaging book illustrates how Stoker's famous work was influenced by nineteenth-century attitudes to disease and medicine and reveals many previously unknown links. Extracts from many sensational stories of the time are presented and the role of doctors and their appearance and contribution to gothic fiction is investigated. The book covers topics such as asylums, their purpose, practice and patients, deadly diseases echoing the symptoms of vampirism, and the otherworldly allure of the undead. Dracula for Doctors is an entertaining and informative examination of how Victorian medical knowledge and culture informed Stoker's gothic masterpiece. This book suggests that Stoker, who had many medical connections, was able to link lurid stories of operations and asylums with fictional horror and suspense. Fans of gothic literature, as well as those of medical history and the supernatural, will find this an enjoyable read.

Reviews and Endorsements:

'If, as Dr Subotsky tells us, it takes being bitten by a bat to produce a book of this depth, detail but also fun, then I recommend bat bites to all aspiring authors.' Professor Sir Simon Wessely, Regius Chair of Psychiatry, King’s College London

'Fiona Subotsky is uniquely placed to deliver a consistently refreshing, informative and insightful account of the medical contexts informing Bram Stoker’s vampire. Both a work of Gothic scholarship and a compelling medical history, this is exactly the kind of book the emergent field of Medical Humanities needs. Rigorous yet fun!' Roger Luckhurst, University of London, editor of The Cambridge Companion to Dracula

'But not just for doctors, and not just about Dracula! For students and enthusiasts of 19th-century gothic fiction, topics such as lunatic asylums, diagnosing disease, blood disorders, hypnotism, catalepsy, operations and medical experimentation, are explored not only in Stoker’s Dracula, but in the work of Le Fanu, Kipling, Wilkie Collins, Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, R.L. Stevenson and others. Dr Subotsky examines published contemporary medico-psychological source materials (and their resulting controversies), and applies them to our favourite vampire novel. Meticulously researched and referenced, this is an entertaining, thoroughly engrossing work of scholarship.' Julia Kruk, Chair of the Dracula Society

Table of Contents:

1. Body and mind
2. Medico-gothic
3. Stoker medical circles
4. Asylum doctors
5. The gothic asylum
6. Renfield, the pet lunatic
7. The other patients
8. Diagnosing Dracula
9. Dread, disease and the asylum
10. Occult blood
11. Holes in the skull
12. Dead, alive or undead
13. Therapeutic armamentarium
14. Compelling eyes
15. Beastliness
16. Vivisection or animal torture?
17. Demons and doctors
18. Scientists and the supernatural
19. And Dracula for dentists …
20. Sex and death

About the Author

Fiona Subotsky, Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, has held the posts of Medical Director of the Maudsley Hospital in London, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Archivist of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and President of the Medical Women's Federation. Apart from her professional achievements she has had a long-standing interest in history and literature and their medical connections, and has written and lectured extensively on related topics.

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