Carving the eighteenth-century corpus: Early modern anatomy and the writings of Pope, Richardson, Godwin, and Baillie

Angela Monsam, Fordham University

Abstract

"Carving the Corpus"investigates the significance of anatomical metaphors in eighteenth-century British literature, and argues that anatomy, as a discourse and as a medical practice, evolved in relation to and, in certain instances, affected the development of new modes of writing and ways of understanding and organizing information. This phenomenon is evident in many of the major genres of eighteenth-century literature from satire to the novel of sensibility, from biography to drama. My project focuses on how the practices of vivisection, dissection, and autopsy, as well as the spectacle of the anatomy theatre, figure in Alexander Pope's mock-epic poem The Rape of the Lock (1712, 1714, 1717), Samuel Richardson's sentimental novel Clarissa (1748), William Godwin's biography Memoirs of the Author of 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' (1798), and Joanna Baillie's drama The Plays on the Passions (1798).^

Subject Area

History of Science|Literature, English

Recommended Citation

Monsam, Angela, "Carving the eighteenth-century corpus: Early modern anatomy and the writings of Pope, Richardson, Godwin, and Baillie" (2014). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3687072.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3687072

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