The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black [E. B. Hudspeth] on Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers. Start by marking “The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black” as Want to Read: A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black opens. The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses.
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“E.B. Hudspeth's The Resurrectionist is PFA (that's pretty freaking “The book is a welcome addition to any library of dark fantasy, with its beautiful portraiture. The Resurrectionist by E. B. Hudspeth, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Hudspeth provides the biography of fictional 19th-century scientist and surgeon Spencer Black, whose work takes a dark turn when he.
Finally, finally it has arrived. I have waited long enough. It feels as though I waited impatiently for a longer time than it took to travel here. None of the mania dissuaded Black from remaining in the public eye; in fact, he would often attend social functions, dinners, and public events or political rallies usually uninvited specifically to discuss his position and philosophy.
It was reported that at a small and exclusive dinner club in New Jersey, Black incited the hostilities of the host when he hurled a glass through a window, attempting to illustrate that God does not intend for man to fly, but man alone intends it. His actions prompted further violence, and the main dining room was destroyed as a result. I hear them marvel at my work—my indignant science. I hear them call out in fear of what they see.
And there are some gentlemen who doubt what I tell them. They call me a liar and a charlatan or a quack. But in time the methods of science that I now employ to convince people will surely set them free—alas, this I cannot explain to the angry fools.
Black had little to no respect for his critics; toward the end of his public career he was known for his volatile behavior and unpredictable personality. As his audience continued to grow, so, too, did his critics. From an article published in a Philadelphia medical journal in July Now he travels like a common charlatan, displaying his dolls and trinkets as proof. If I stitch together a monster, does that prove its existence?
Spencer Black is a ranting lunatic; he is never content, he continues to see things that do not exist. When a falsehood is coveted long enough, it becomes the truth that sustains its own existence. He is a madman! Holace In late Black famously delivered this response: Holace, I have delayed the writing of this letter.
I know that I am no longer in your favor. I was surprised to hear that you have championed the destruction of my reputation and are unflinching, unrelenting and merciless in your opinion of me.
I gave you an opportunity to see beyond yourself, beyond your small world and science. I gave you a chance to participate in the greatest anthropological breakthrough any surgeon could have ever dreamed.
It is with elation for the preservation of my work and sorrow for the loss of what was once a great friendship that I say farewell to you. But the joy of his arrival was cut short by tragedy; their second child, Victor, fell ill for several weeks and died of typhoid fever just four months after Samuel was born.
Spencer writes about the event in his journals, dated September My dear sweet angel, my dear sweet … Now he is passed on with his sister, Elizabeth. I, his governor, his father, could not stop him from going; what will come of my other children? Will I be as helpless, when they fall ill? I may just as well kill with my own hands.
Can I only bear witness to death? Can I not share in the glory of life? He now believed the only way to prove his claims was to make living evidence, animated creatures, so that the world could understand. Immediately after returning home to Philadelphia in the winter of , he began work on grafting living tissue in a small storage shed in the woods behind his home; this shed eventually grew into a sort of laboratory.
Black lived in the main house, but every morning he would ride his horse into the woods to continue his work in his lab. He had become obstinately difficult and single-minded regarding his obsession with creating life. When death arrives, the very life inside of you knows its own fate; it writhes and claws with a ferocity that has no equal.
Then in a quick moment, there is no more pain and you can hear the sound of death. She travels to you gently, as though water had been suspended in the air in-between.
During the next two years Black acquired several small, living animals with which to begin his experiments. His obsession caused him to become estranged from his children and his wife.
He struggled greatly with his work and endured many failures in his efforts. After a year and a half, the stress of his conduct was too much for Elise to bear. She wrote to her brother-in-law Bernard, asking him to come to the house: You ought to pray also … In the fall of , Bernard returned to help Elise.
Spencer Black was reserved, reluctant to talk, and clearly unable to stop working; he would spend entire days alone in his laboratory. It was in late November , more than a year after the last tour of the carnival show, that Black asked Elise and Bernard to bear witness to the scientific achievement he called a modern renaissance. Neither Elise nor Bernard could have expected what they were about to see. In his journal Bernard describes the scene and the events that followed: My heart turned foul and my skin tightened the length of my body when I saw what my God-damned brother had done.
The room was entirely dark except for a small lamp on his desk. Illuminated were pages of notes, jars filled with liquid and pieces of flesh, small empty cages on the floor beside the desk and filth everywhere.
The building was dank and smelled of death and excrement. Spencer escorted us closer to his desk where I could see what he was so proud to present. There on the ground was a bleeding animal; a dog with the wings of a rooster sewn onto its back. The animal moved slightly as it breathed, the only evidence that it was alive, though it seemed impossible. It was so disfigured, swollen, and injured.
She had only looked at the poor animal once, a quick look. Spencer laughed and clapped his hands together. From the unlit shadows, further back in his lab, came a loud groan and then a crash inside a cage. It was then that we were aware that the poor beast on the ground was not the only animal. Elise ran outside pulling Samuel out with her. She left him but I did not; I grabbed the wicked boy and commanded that he go to his mother. Once alone with Spencer I screamed in anger, demanding to know: What had he done?
What was he doing? I was angry with him, angry that he had performed such a cruel act. I did not know how he had achieved such a stunt. He told me that what he had done was clear enough, so clear that the bloody animal on the ground could nearly speak for itself and tell me what had occurred.
As Spencer spoke the animal moved frantically. I told him it was dying. I nearly wept as I spoke, I was so overcome. I tried not to look at the creature; its claws scratched along the floor as each attempt to right itself failed. He explained to me that it was not dying but, rather, living: I began to protest his logic but then he screamed so ruthlessly I would have thought he wished me killed. Spencer said that his work was not for me, or for him, but was instead in and of itself a new species, a new science, a new world.
He stood in front of the animal, as though he was protecting it. I knew there was nothing I could say to persuade him or calm his anger.
I protested one last time. He spat his words at me, condemning what he called the judiciary of morality and the imperious kings of good works.
When he finished, he remained still. The lamplight directly behind him cast a shadow on his face, and though I could not see his eyes, I knew they were on me. I left. I remember those events perfectly, I can still hear his voice.
I have not seen him since that day. There is none who possess that healing power. Spencer holds it gently in his hand as though it were the knowledge of science itself, a living creature that he cradles and carries with him always——like a pet.
She told him that she needed to gather some things first and would leave soon after. Bernard returned to New York, believing there was nothing more he could do for his deeply troubled brother.
He tried to take custody of both boys, but Alphonse, then sixteen years old, refused and ran away returning to the care of his father , and so Bernard arrived in New York with only Samuel, who was nearly four years old at the time. Intent on destroying everything her husband had made, she smashed an oil lamp onto his desk, igniting a fire. She then began to shoot his animals with a small pistol. Spencer, hearing the gunshots and seeing the flames from the house, rushed to stop the blaze.
Black described the confrontation in his journal: I raced across the field, desperate to save my work. I dismounted from my horse with such haste that I nearly did myself in at that moment.
I rushed inside and was greeted, without warning, by my Elise and her pistol. She fired and struck me in the leg. I know she had intended to strike my chest. Elise then shot my dog and, after it was killed, continued throughout the burning laboratory, killing all of my animals that remained. The conflagration was too intense and Elise was soon engulfed in its flames.
I pulled her to safety. Elise was nearly burned to death: It is miraculous she did survive, because her chances of dying of an infection were extremely high.
Black told no one of the accident, not even Bernard. Black feared that the natural healing process would interfere with the effectiveness of surgical manipulation. We brought the caravan north several miles from any home, unhitched the horses and tied them off at a great distance so they would not be disturbed.
I prepared to work there in a glen, far removed from everything. I had to attempt a skin graft; a procedure this complex was not done often and few surgeons have had any success.
For two nights we worked, Alphonse and I. He was frightened and unwilling but I offered him no alternative. I was in short supply of anesthesia and what I administered was insufficient. She was in such horrific agony, but there was no alternative. Our caravan was too far for any to hear; the lights were oppressively dim and she screamed so loud; it was truly awful. Finally, I had to stop. The operation was not going to work.
I still cannot believe what has occurred. That fire was like the whisper of God; it swept through everything, proud and determined, leaving only myself and that poor woman, that poor thing so destroyed in my arms. The newspapers criticized Black, attributing the fire to his irresponsible character and reckless scientific experiments; no one knew that Elise had been critically injured in the blaze.
Black had no choice but to leave Philadelphia and venture where no one knew of the accident. Elise was indefinitely confined to the caravan, and eventually she became dependent on opium. His journal I reveals his feelings after parting company with Bernard, Samuel, and his hometown of Philadelphia. April 30, We are now traveling to Chicago; Elise is resting quietly.
My brother and I are at odds; our friendship, I fear, is irreconcilable. I had no opportunity to explain myself as well as perhaps he would have required to merit compassion. There was no opportunity, but how could I have? Would I discuss the minutia of the scientific details pertaining to the complex structures of all that governs life and the obedience required to deviate from it?
Creating a new specimen? It would require a millennium to explain and write it down. But all the while the creature lived——is that not enough? I cannot be still, I cannot rest or sleep. My work is more than a curiosity now. I am careful now; I have left whence I came. We have finally arrived.
It is now morning. I am delighted at the stillness of the tall grass in the fields and the quiet of the horses, stopped, steaming with heat and unable to go anymore. My beloved and eternally precious Elise——I could write that a thousand times and not tire; how it pains me that of all the flowers to bloom this Spring, she is the one I will not see.
Upon arriving in Chicago, Black began work on a new show, the Human Renaissance, that would be a showcase for his living evidence. In , after two years of development, Black unveiled the show in Boston. Others correctly believed they were surgically assembled hybrids.
But Dr. Black himself claimed they were newly discovered life forms.
From the fall issue of Chicago Journal of Science: A man, scientist or not, who can manipulate nature through vivisection or any means to this end does not practice science but instead knows it——and possesses a power that no man should wield, for this work no man should have wrought.
Getty, M. All their conditions were extreme. One young man was said to have had leg transplants; he bore the limbs of a much taller man with a darker complexion. Another patient was a formerly conjoined twin, a seventeen-year-old girl named Rose.
Her surgical procedure was so elaborate that it involved a new heart, lung, kidney, spleen, and arm. Her twin sister had died during the surgery.
To the malformed, the sick, or the diseased, Dr. Black had become something of a folk hero. He was ridiculed in the mainstream scientific community but revered by many, especially those afflicted with unusual illnesses.
Black wrote this quip to the Chicago Journal of Science: Newspaper clipping from the National Journal of Medicine and Science. Despite their claims of being a national publication, the Journal was based in Philadelphia and rarely covered events outside the immediate region. Its readership consisted largely of local residents, not medical professionals. Your suspicions are acute and undoubtedly not without the prerequisite research on the nature of my work.
We are scientists, not demons. While he toured, his reputation for offering surgical help, sometimes called miracles, was widespread enough to warrant pilgrimages to see him. There are accounts of children suffering from life-threatening defects whose families traveled hundreds of miles, and sometimes even farther, to seek out his services.
On one such occasion Black wrote in October She was brought to us with neither arms nor legs, brought not only to our show, but here on Celestial Terra itself. When she was found, there were none to claim her. She was alone save the box and a letter that the poor child was abandoned with. Her family, ashamed of their daughter, failed to see what she really was——they saw only a monster.
The condition of her birth and deformity was not a punishment or an omen or a hex cast upon her. She has lost blood, precious blood. I will give her back what was supposed to be hers. The patient was a nine-year-old girl, Miriam Helmer. She was born with no arms only hands and very short legs, quite possibly a form of the condition known as Roberts syndrome.
Black presented her as the winged woman, claiming that her lack of arms was a genetic attempt to sprout wings; the failure could be attributed to the fact that her composition was largely human. Miriam performed in the show for several years before she died from unknown causes in To this day, no manuscript or volume with a similar title or description has ever been found.
The Human Renaissance show ran from to and attracted controversy with every new performance. Disturbances and fights were common, religious leaders protested Dr. Even the American Eugenics Society found fault with Dr. Black, describing his work as regressive: These beasts are not natural, as Dr.
Black says. They ought not be displayed for the public but rather driven back into extinction. He had grown into a different kind of showman, one who was quick-tempered and eager to rouse a crowd into a frenzy.
Scheduled to perform for two months, he lasted just three days. At every show, he was mocked and ridiculed; the mobs grew larger and larger. On the third day of performances, the crowd rushed his stage, killed some of the animals, and burned many of his artifacts before forcing him out.
Black was devastated. July Bernard, Perhaps you have heard, perhaps the jubilant laughter of my demise was carried freely through the air by Hermes himself, or perhaps you still do not know. I was ridiculed, mocked, and spit upon. They meant to harm me. These are the people, the public, whom I as a doctor ventured to heal?
These are the wounded and sick that I labored to discover cures and remedies for? What wretched flesh they are. They will learn that I can do much more than heal, dear brother——I swear to you that.
I can do much more now. Your brother——do not forget that. After his failure in Chicago, Dr. Black would never host another public appearance, although he would continue to perform in private for select audiences. These shows were not widely advertised and in most cases were not publicized at all. There is little information about the contents of the guest list or what exactly the performances entailed. Itineraries suggest that the show remained active, visiting three or four venues every week.
We do believe that the show remained in cities for only one or two days at a time. Sometimes it was presented in private homes or theaters; often Dr. Black had no choice but to perform in secluded wilderness settings. The show traveled in America until the winter of Spencer, Elise, Alphonse, and possibly six or more performers and assistants were leaving New York, but instead of heading south to avoid the coming cold weather, Black decided to travel north to meet with Alexander Goethe.
Goethe was a wealthy, eccentric naturalist who paid Black for a private demonstration of the show, to be performed at his opulent palatial estate.
Goethe claimed that he fished the arm of the siren from the Indian Ocean and said that it fought with a ferocity that made him believe he had hooked a Spartan soldier instead. He claimed that the sphinx was found dead on the shore of the Nile and beasts had torn it to pieces, leaving only the tattered remains that he housed in his museum.
They crowed and moaned like real living things. Spring A chance encounter has allowed me an introduction to the well-known Alexander Goethe—explorer, collector of all things, and man of the world. He was not as I supposed him to be.
No, he was a crass and unpleasant creature, his spine crooked in the side, his bones too long for his legs and scorn painted on his face. The man spoke from within a cloud of smoke sweeter than the scent of opium. He told me he smoked the nectar of the lotus and that only he knew how to extract the essential ingredients needed for the everlasting smoke.
After a time, I was invited to see his vast collection, a superior one to any I had ever borne witness to. Though I swore to him that I would not disclose what was housed therein, neither in public nor in privately recorded accounts, I can testify that there are indeed wonders in this world.
A few artifacts were recovered, but certainly nothing remarkable. It is likely there was nothing worth recovering, anyway: Alexander Goethe was arrested in for fraud and theft, and he died in prison in At the beginning of the twentieth century, Dr.
Black took the Human Renaissance overseas, where it performed quite well. There are accounts of performances in the British Isles, Europe, and farther south in what is now Turkey, Syria, and Israel. Evidence of its presence can be found in nearby museums; the local folklore includes tales of a magician with a magic knife and testimonies from people claiming to have been healed by Dr.
Throughout the international tour, Black claimed he had the power to raise the dead, to make people live longer or even forever. He asserted that he could change the genders and ages of his patients. He performed his surgeries live on stage, in what surely must have been macabre performances.
Two descriptions are given here by anonymous spectators: I had seen this sort of thing before, so I thought it was going to be just a trick. There was so much blood though and I was sitting very close; I knew it was real.
He took the legs of a dead man and sewed them on. He told us that this procedure can only be done if the body of the donor was recently deceased—very recently, he said. I saw demon magic, on stage, everyone saw it. This was neither nature nor mischief.
The creatures deceased and embalmed, were as described on the playbill, but more perfect than I had expected in their proportions and in what appeared to be a natural displacement of all organic systems, hair, muscle, etc. If this was the work of a charlatan or fraud, then perhaps one of either immense skill or supernatural assistance; the latter I reject, the former troubles me as though I had witnessed a magic trick so persuasive that it was not a trick at all.
I am unable to understand this thing which I saw laid before God and spectator. These performances made Spencer Black incredibly wealthy, even as more and more people described him as one of the greatest con men of his time. Black is here to take your money and your good senses. It is rumored that Dr. Black makes reference to this in a passage from his journals: I can prevent death.
I can dip my hand into the pool of the fountain of youth; I can cause one to live, be born from death or be spared of its ravages. The sleepless man will forever drink from that fountain. After one sees the true work of God laid beside the work of man for the benefit of comparison, then one can learn finally, as a child does, that the latter is merely a trinket——an object that does nothing.
I have come to know that a great number of scientists are atheistic by social ideological comparisons, though they may believe in God, their fundamental belief in nature forbids them from any canonical society.
What surprises me greatly is the number of religious surgeons and scientists alike. One can only pretend they do not understand the true meaning of nature for a finite length of time. Their confession is inevitable. This privilege must be bridled by a discretion that only I can discern, that only I am able to judge.
The show continued for eight years until a private performance in Budapest during the fall of went terribly wrong. During that show one of his creatures, the Serpent Queen, attacked a member of the audience. Nothing more is known about the performance or the victim. The written accounts by local authorities reveal only that the patron died while in attendance of the performance called the Human Renaissance, hosted by the American surgeon and performer Dr.
He returned to his house in Philadelphia, where he proceeded to expand his research facility. Since leaving Spencer and taking custody of Samuel in , Bernard Black had remained in New York, where he met and married Emma Werstone, a wealthy widow from a good family.
Her first husband, an officer in the southern frontier, had been killed in the Spanish—American War. Bernard and Emma were married in and together they raised Samuel, a promising student interested in architecture and engineering. He went on to graduate from the prestigious Wayne and Miller School of Architecture. Most were short, incomplete, and often frightfully obscure and confusing. Because Spencer was always moving from one town to the next, there was no way for Bernard to deliver a reply.
December Dearest Brother, All things are unrelenting; all of the once gentle and supple nectars of life are now venomous and cruel.
I am unable to manage my affairs. My son, Alphonse is a beast of another sort——he is often angry, he has a deep internal malady, I fear him … his destiny. I have nothing now. I am tired and care little of anything. I am lost, dear brother. I miss the company you had once offered. I regret that I cannot see you and I do wish——most sincerely——that you are filled with joy, that life cradles you as one of its most beloved.
It has been a long while since my last letter. I have been quite busy, I assure you. I cannot say very much at the moment, for the work undertaken and what is presently at hand is far too difficult to detail within the pages of a mere note. I can say that I offer great apologies to you. I did not mean to cause you alarm or worry at my less orthodox interests. I have suffered a great number of tragedies. My beloved Elise is well; she manages, I suspect. I will be leaving for a travel excursion that may take a great deal of time to complete.
Your Brother, S. I had time to consider in depth that which you have instructed me, years ago, regarding what to pay heed to whilst I continue my work further.
I trust I will be in your debt and I thank you——though I admit I would be grateful if in matters of peril and premonitions of gloom that you were not a sophist but indeed a fool. Dear brother——you preserved your life, you coveted it; it was impossible for you to continue in medicine with sickness and death all around, you needed to pursue a quieter science——I understand.
You steadily follow the guidance of the learned; you read what you have been instructed to read. You are like a child at practice on a piano. You balance a stick on the backs of your hands just along the knuckles while you play, ensuring proper posture. Then you play something bland and unimaginative; however, the stick will never fall to the floor, bravo!
When I perform, the stick falls, then a symphony flows from me. I now indulge in the luxury and leisure of my home. I am no longer in the service of man. You must know these creations can mean nothing to you nor any other educated man as they meant nothing to me until they were there, on a table before me.
Their fatal wounds visible, the hollow in their gaze that no taxidermist could create. No artist or magician is able to conjure the sincerity that only life can bring to the eyes.
Bernard, I tell you, I now have them. They live. I understand if you have concerns for my welfare. In time, after my research is complete, I will unveil my discovery.
All is progressing well with little disruption; I pray heaven not change that, I cannot afford a disturbance. My time now is vital, and how long I need I could never know. I trust that you have, by this point, received the gift I sent to Samuel and I hope that all is in good order with you and my most gifted child.
His well-being is certainly my greatest wish, and a promising future I am certain is assured whilst he remains in your steady care. Finally, Bernard, I have finally come close enough to see that it can be achieved. Against your will and in defiance of your doubts, I would throw you to the floor of my laboratory so that you would gaze up as I did and be prostrate before it as I was and you would marvel as I do now. Now surely you understand the meaning of my queer gift. Only six copies were completed before Dr.
Black withdrew the project and abruptly disappeared. The reasons for his sudden departure remain unknown. Black had garnered many enemies during his career in the sciences, not the least of whom were the administration and colleagues of his former employer, the Academy of Medicine.
His articles were published in many well-known papers: Spencer Quack is going to loft a fairy tale that can barely serve as adequate kindle for the fire. I have not read it, nor do I wish to. I am certain that the ink used to describe the creatures from his own madness is a waste of resources. His book will be nothing more than an extravagant and expensive joke the fool will play on himself.
Holace M. The N. Medical Journal, After , Alphonse continued alone in the strange practices of his father. In , he was caught butchering small animals in a barn twenty-five miles north of Philadelphia; he was arrested and committed to a mental asylum. He remained there for eleven years, receiving only one visitor, in In the building burned down from a fire caused by lightning.
During the storm, many of the patients escaped. Alphonse was among them. From to Alphonse allegedly kept a private zoo, where he housed many of his own creations. Nevertheless, little is known of Alphonse or his work. Like his father, he was extremely secretive. As for Spencer Black, nothing is known of his whereabouts after There were no more public appearances; there were no more surgeries.
He simply vanished. In , his home in Philadelphia was turned into a small museum, where docents offered tours and lectures explaining his life and work. The museum closed in The property changed owners several times until , when the last owners suddenly moved out, complaining of strange noises.
The building is presently condemned. The final clue to Dr. It is the last known document written by Black. He had just returned from a six-month excavation and research trip from the northernmost point of Greenland. The letter indicates that he had been actively pursing some bizarre treatment for his wife, Elise.
Prior to receiving the letter, Bernard had no knowledge that Elise had been burned in a fire, or that Spencer had performed any kind of surgery on her. Bernard shared the letter with the police before embarking on a trip to find his brother. February Bernard, I have no choice but to conclude the fallacy of my previous studies, however painful it is to accept. I am writing you tonight to give the deepest thanks and offer the most sincere apology a man such as I can manage.
Deluded by my own aims, I could not heed your most eloquent and obvious warning. I now languish in the solitude of this letter, lamenting. Your laughter at my expense or your scorn would be a salve upon my mind.
Nothing can help me, I know; it was I who was the cause of my peril. I cannot be certain if you will ever receive this letter, nor is there much I would expect to arise from it if you could read it now. I can be certain, however, that if any news of me arrives to you it will be this letter and this letter alone. I have hidden my notes for you to retrieve. Please, brother, help me keep this from the sleepless man, my son, Alphonse.
I fear you know of what I am to write, but I fervently hope that you do not. I pray that my work, my labor of the past ten years has exceeded any science or philosophy that the learned shall ever endeavor, or be called upon, to examine. If that is so, then perhaps it will end here with me—this box that I have opened. I have succeeded, I have done what none other before me has.
I write only to you. My beloved and eternally precious Elise … how beautiful she was. I did love Elise dearly, but that is not why I ventured to perform this wicked work.
I have butchered many men; all are innocent when they are on my table, all are exquisite. My purpose has exceeded my function, I am afraid. I have spent my life, the vainglory of my youth, consumed and drunken with the most sadistic of all exploits —study. How can one dare travel into the unknown? Something quite terrible is waiting there, a destruction that would not be mine had I not sought after it. There was a time in the world when nature wore a different mask; since I set out to discover her secrets, my trials have only increased.
Now destiny has fulfilled her carefully plotted plan, my eventual and total ruin. That wretch, that filth-soaked thing whose foulness is exceeded only by her demon song. Death, so terrible an object; you look away from it, fearing that it may see you and call your name. I have seen many die, scream, and many more writhe in anguish at the hands of disease, injury or healing.
I am shamed to confess that when a patient screamed I was relieved some——I know their agony was less than what it could have been. But know this: We are living creatures, and within us is more than we know; the seed of life and death, together. I have seen it and nurtured it and fought and defended it. I have sacrificed and bled and now I, too, will perish for it, because of it——I know not how to destroy it. I can hear her, that sound——I can hear the screaming——soaring in the darkness, searching for me.
I can hear Hell calling my name. Elise, my dear wife! I resolved to save her. I chose to give her a great gift, an ancient past resurrected. She was a descendant of a powerful species, the Fury. Elise is now no longer the same woman, nor is she the one in the cracked body of burned flesh. She has emerged, she has awoken like the cicada.
I learned many things, I wield a mighty sword now. I have taken her, as a worm, an opium-addicted wretch, writhing in a scorched body; listen to me Bernard, I write only truths. I baptized her; with my knife, I saved her … again, I saved her. The last stone I unturned in my quest was the tombstone … Come quickly. Bernard never returned to his wife, Emma, in New York. AT DR. WITH comprehensive illustrations and explanatory texts regarding the musculature and skeletal systems: Thes M creatures varied widely throughout the African continent.
In Egypt, there are great statues of this animal—the sphinx sol, the protector and scourge of Ra, the sun god. These species are typically depicted without wings; I suspect that, like many flightless birds, the sphinx lost its need for flight because of geographical isolation.
The famed sphinx of Thebes appears strikingly similar to the specimen in my record. Though few in number, the species had a developed human mind with an advanced intellect; they were more than likely fierce and successful predators. The folklore of these creature T predates the conventions of the scientific method; nonetheless, the legends denote an accurate account of some of the evolutionary aspects regarding their species.
I will begin with the homogenous nature of them as a species, differing only as dogs may differ in breed——albeit significant differences, indeed. The siren was described as a bird in ancient times; only later did it become a woman of the water.
There was, at some point in the past, a need to make specific distinctions between the water-human and the bird-human animals. Whether it was an error in classification or that the siren evolved into an aquatic mammal is not well understood. Nereids, or naiades, share many of the traits of the deeper ocean-born species, but they are far more human than the mermaid; and, in many cases, they are nearly entirely human, save the distinct physiological aquatic attributes. This would explain their geographic preference for shallow, fresh water.
The mermaid the female of the species Siren oceanus was less common and certainly more elusive than the siren. It breathed underwater without any need to surface. I speculate the possibility of several variants of the species that exhibit more mammalian traits and therefore required the occasional breath, as do the dolphin and whale.
The task of discovering any such animals intact by means of good fortune alone are nearly impossible. This animal would need to have a fully evolved and substantially unique respiratory system; similar to the gills of a fish but conforming to the structure of the human rib cage. If my theory is correct and there was once indeed an air-breathing mermaid, this would suggest the existence of a vast variety of species still occupying many shapes, sizes, and functions in the depths of our waters.
The pelvis and femur would be robust and generous in length. Considering the large size of the lumbar vertebrae and the thickness of the caudal and anal spines, this particular species of mermaid would have exhibited a greater agility and speed than nearly any other sea animal hitherto documented. The superficial tendons weave over the muscular tissues, allowing for greater tension, strength, and resistance.
The presence of massive muscular tissue supporting all the fin spine regions would grant this animal superiority: I am well acquainted with the many interpretations of this creature; it has been portrayed in countless works of literature and stories for the stage.
The species I studied represented here had the ears of a human, though goat-eared species are believed to exist.
There may be other variations as well. I discovered a specimen resembling a ram near the border of Finland; there was too little remaining of the beast and, regrettably, it was not in a condition that permitted useful study or accurate representation. I have not yet come upon another like it.
There are additional shortcomings, as well. The minotaur has no claws for attacking or defense; it cannot fly or swim. The existence of this beast seems difficult to conceive. I have gathered incomplete segments of what appear to be creatures of the same species; thus far, I cannot conclude the existence of any variant to the species analyzed herein.
The minotaur must have been unique despite conflicting accounts of its historical pedigree. It is important to consider the very real question of its ancestors, some of which may have possessed six limbs—four legs and two arms—as does the centaur.
However, I have not yet come to know such a thing to be true. The soft tissues were so badly decomposed that I could ascertain nothing from the remains. I would surmise that the ancient minotaur did not have a four-chambered stomach like its bovine cousin. I would consider it impractical to be a ruminant, having an upright disposition and two arms for the gathering and preparation of food. The minotaur was likely an omnivore; given its size, its disposition for predation may have been engendered by a scarcity of food.
It is likely that it did not evolve balanced enough to adequately compete for food or defend itself: The Ganesha was a drastic evolutionary juxtaposition of the natural physical form; man and elephant.
How can such small and slight bones support such massive appendages and disproportionately sized heads? It seems the ganesha had a sinewy fiber woven throughout its bone structure, independent of the ligament and tendon systems.
This sinew acted as a resistance barrier for undue or excessive strain—much as a splint protects a broken limb. The sinew functioned not unlike an external skeletal structure for the bone; this material helps explain how many animals could withstand excess strain and torsion.
Unfortunately, I do not know of any living creature that evolved with this material. My specimen is one of the great treasures of the east. Though only a portion of the creature was recovered, it was well-preserved, and wrapped in hundreds of yards of decayed cloth.
Future discoveries are a possibility.
I happened upon chance to come to the tomb of one, and surely there are many more. I can conclude that the animal was more than likely of a high intellect, confounding one who considers why it failed to prosper as a species.
Why would nature require W it to be shaped in such a fashion? Its form is confounding and distasteful. Nonetheless, all mysteries ought to be solved; their secrets should be revealed. Without having the great privilege and scientific benefit of studying the creature whilst it was alive and moving before me, I am unable to understand how it managed the apparent dilemma of three brains, three wills, and only one body to command.
This is a great point of intrigue to me, and a burden on my ever-increasingly curious studies. I suspect that the tail is merely a system used for balance.
I concluded that the central vertebral joint, the trithoracic vertebra, can resist enough torsion to accommodate the animal moderately but not effectively. The diet is another curiosity. All three heads, whose origins are from creatures of differing diets, must surely share a common digestive tract and other similar requirements for basic functionality. I imagine there must have been ample opportunity to benefit from such an arrangement; the goat could graze whilst the lion rested, perhaps.
However, I had the peculiar fortune to come into the possession of eight beasts, all of which appeared to have perished together as a pack. Several of the beasts had two or three heads, and one of the dogs possessed six.
A specimen with three heads and a serpent tail is the case for study here. These creatures are not mere mutations born of unnatural conditions; their design is far too deliberate and intentional. Despite their superficial similarities I have no evidence that these two creatures are closely related. I am not related to a fish simply because we both have a single head. The cerberus would have been warm blooded with many traits likened to other mammals: Similar adaptations are found in other reptiles, such as the Dermochelys coriacea, the leather-back turtle.
There may be a shared ancestry among these reptiles, suggesting that the bloodlines are vast and still flourishing in regions yet unknown. Months of labor used to construct wings that can never work. I do this, only to show that it could have and once did live. This would be an evolutionary necessity. The muscles governing the wings were likely very large.
If given the opportunity to view genuine pegasus cells under a microscope, I believe we would unravel the secret of their extraordinary strength. These types of cells are not absent from human muscle tissue; they are merely less active.
If human cells could be trained to perform with the same functionality as those of the pegasus, then all would marvel at the greatness achievable by man. The skeletal structure of the animal will seem familiar to any anatomist familiar with the Aves and Equus forms. Surprisingly, there is no structural deviance from the horse or from the wing structure typical of a common bird.
I speculate that this could be quite different among different species of this family. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one.
The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Horror Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about The Resurrectionist , please sign up. This book has blown me away I can't figure out if this is historical fiction or a non fiction book Robson Bittencourt I'm not sure whether you are asking a rhetorical question, but anyways: I guess this book is fantasy. However, this doesn't matter much: See 1 question about The Resurrectionist…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order.
Sep 05, Darth J rated it really liked it Shelves: Morbid curiosity drew me to this book. Seriously, you need a morbid curiosity with this book due to the speculative subject matter and the depraved experiments that are entailed within. The Good: The story is interesting and captivates you in a really twisted way.
The level of detail that went into the artwork is astounding, and is the biggest draw of the book. The Bad: The actual story is only 65 pages long.
There are too many loose ends. In conclusion, I really loved this as a whole for what it was Morbid curiosity drew me to this book. In conclusion, I really loved this as a whole for what it was. The illustrations alone make this a worthwhile read. This is one of the rare occasions I would recommend downloading the physical book over a digital copy because of the artwork. I was expecting more of a story though, and that is the only reason why I didn't give this a whole 5 stars.
View 2 comments. Nov 01, Zoeytron rated it it was ok Shelves: It never occurred to me that I wouldn't love this book, but it just never really came together for me, the excellent anatomical illustrations of mythical beasties notwithstanding. The cover itself is riveting, depicting the skeletal structure of a harpy. This is the fictional biography of one Dr.
Spenser Black. Son of a grave robber, the seed of madness was planted early. As a grown man, his hypothesis was that we have evolved from satyrs, harpies, the chimera, dragons, and the like. The ways in It never occurred to me that I wouldn't love this book, but it just never really came together for me, the excellent anatomical illustrations of mythical beasties notwithstanding.
The ways in which he goes about proving his theory are grotesque. Had my name written all over it, but it just didn't work for me at all. It made me skim. I hate when that happens. Feb 23, Mara rated it liked it Shelves: Spencer Black I'm pretty unclear on the fiction to non-fiction ratio going on in this book mythical creatures notwithstanding. However, having endured several semesters of the history of science and cranked out more than one term paper on curiosity cabinets , I can safely say that almost all of this could have been true.
Scientists, doctors, surgeons and whatnot by necessity were talented artists if you don't believe me, check out Galen and Vesalius' c The Resurrectionist: Scientists, doctors, surgeons and whatnot by necessity were talented artists if you don't believe me, check out Galen and Vesalius' circulation diagrams.
And, what's more, the natural historians' "cabinets of curiosity" did branch off into the very un-P. Spencer Black's tale involves all of the aforementioned elements at their darkest and most horrifying.
Convinced that mythological creatures were evolutionary offspurts, and that he could re-unlock the key to past lives in living creatures, Black's descent into madness took quite a few twists and turns. The book is short and full of illustrations, so I don't feel all that guilty not offering much in the way of a summary.
As someone who cried during the Fox and the Hound and was left catatonic after seeing White Fang to say nothing of Old Yeller , there were definitely parts of this that I had to skim.
Aug 19, Hannah Greendale rated it really liked it Shelves: According to Dr. Spencer Black, mythological creatures -- mermaids, fawns, minotaurs, etc. In attempt to prove his theory, he ventured down a dark path, cobbling together body parts in the depths of a gaslit storage shed. His progress was cataloged in a number of chilling letters written to his brother, and the result of his work was The Codex Extinct Animalia: His biography, letters, and the Codex are included in this imaginative, wonderfully disturbing book.
Black speculated that perhaps the human being is not the best result of evolution; perhaps our ancestors shared traits with some of the ancient animals or, more accurately, ancient mythological animals. Black claimed that scientific evidence proving the existence of ancient mythological animals had been concealed by unnamed parties; taxonomy records were destroyed, constellation records were changed, fairy tales were altered and rewritten, all in an attempt to ignore our true history.
View 1 comment. Sep 06, Travis O. MAY 27, The Resurrectionist Review Do you remember when horror, dark fantasy, and weird fiction were almost as fringe as the occult studies themselves? Unfortunately for many fans of the grotesque and horrible, the stratospheric rise of franchises like Twilight and Harry Potter have, whatever their individual merits, stripped us of our creepers and crawlers, nightmares and madness, and returned them as a sanitized, sterile, and often vapid caricatures for their former macabre beauty.
It can b MAY 27, The Resurrectionist Review Do you remember when horror, dark fantasy, and weird fiction were almost as fringe as the occult studies themselves? It can be tough to find quality examples of twisted fiction in today's saturated market with its deluge of zombies, vampires, and dime-a-dozen serial killers, murderous vigilantes, and caped crusaders. But if, like me, you value true fright for the sake of its uncanny allure, if you like gazing over the edge of the abyss into the quivering, cannibalistic recesses of the human mind, I've got some horribl ly excellent news for you.
The Ressurectionist, by E. Hudsperth, is a one-of-a-kind treasure. And it's damn beautiful, too. Quirk Books is a publisher of books that are, well, quirky. I'd be hard pressed to describe The Resurrectionist so lightly, though. When I think "quirky," I think ironic, dryly humorous and maybe with a tinge of underground dissent or unexpected cuteness.
I don't think "mad scientist," I don't think "taxidermy gone knives-to-the-wall crazy," and I most certainly don't think "alternate evolutionary theories, Darwin be damned! A fascinating blend of fiction and art, The Resurrectionist sinks its hooks into your guts and doesn't let go as it examines with the unflinching scrutiny of an autopsy the strange life of Dr. Spencer Black and his increasingly deranged work.
The first half of the book is that biographic novella, which weighs in at 63 pages; the second half is an equally long full-page anatomical study of some of the most famous creatures out of myth and legend. These include skeletal, muscular, and tissue-level renderings. Think of this as a Grey's Anatomy of cryptids, and you'd be on the right track.
But The Resurrectionist is not a one-trick pony. I might try to sell itself on the merits of the fascinating art in the back, but that doesn't mean the biography is allowed to skid by on easy heels. The study of Dr. Black's life is fully fleshed out and disturbingly believable. For fans of Lovecraft, Stephen King, or any quality horror writer, Dr. Black's archetype will be instantly recognizable: His father, a grave-robbing anatomist, often called a "Resurrectionist" because of the bodies he steals, teaches his sons to study closely and carefully the secrets of the human body.
By his early twenties, Spencer Black proves himself to be a prodigy surgeon, his genius is fourishing to perform medical miracles that win him fame the world over. But like the many evil geniuses before him, he is impatient with the knife, unsatisfied with the imperfect work it does.
He turns to darker, older secrets, to the lore of the old world in which he finds, eventually, an alternative theory to the pervading Darwinian explanation of biological evolution. From this new understanding, he reasons, all of the monsters of myth and legend came to evolve into the human race. This belief drives him to the fringe, much the way of Dr. Taleyarkhan and others regarding Cold Fusion in the twentieth century.
In his search for "evidence," Black's chronicler does little to discourage the reader from despising him. It reads like one would expect a textbook examination of a monster to read; the bias is clear and unshorn. This lends a further sense of credence to the tale, since it gives the illusion of a studied and long-held grudge against the man, similar to how we view Jack the Ripper nowadays with a macabre fascination and abhorrence.
Indeed, Jack and Spencer share much and more. What struck me most about The Resurrectionist is how well it is put together. The novella is well-written and precisely paced, to be sure, but it works its magic in the conjectured diagnosis of Spencer Black's motive.
The included letters from various participants, scribbled nonsense, and circus-style advertisements for his godforsaken sideshows crank the verisimilitude to And, it bears mentioning that the typeface, coloring, and internal layout scream care and attention. It goes without saying, too, that a lot of love was poured into the anatomical portion of the book. Those strange taxidermist drawings are given both reason and justifications for existence by the unsettling tale that preludes them, which in turn requires the drawings to exist.
I can't imagine this there; it belongs right in the art section, perhaps alongside the fantasy where normally your find art books dedicated to Tolkien and Lovecraft. Part Frankenstein, part Gray's Anatomy, and seemingly sprung from the mind of a man like H. Holmes, The Resurrectionist makes it nearly impossible to tear your eyes away from the horror and spectacle it presents. I can think of a hundred people who would find this a terribly disagreeable book The Resurrectionist exists with grim purpose and grotesque style, seeking to recapture our fascination with the politically-incorrect freak shows of yesteryear we call it Reality TV today.
For a fan of dark fantasy and horror, it represents the fusing of two distinct lines of interest into a peerless package of twisted genius. Inventive idea to combine grave robbing, and mids medicine with carnivals and cryptids. Dr Spencer Black begins as an assistant grave robber for his father, then becomes a doctor and a gifted surgeon. He becomes fascinated by the idea that mythical creatures existed in the past, and human mutations fused digits and other unusual bony and soft structures are remnants of these creatures in our physiology.
Spencer Black begins experimenting on animals, fusing different animals' bo 3. Spencer Black begins experimenting on animals, fusing different animals' body parts together, and eventually loses the respect of his peers for his claims and behaviours and beliefs.
Spencer appears progressively crazy to others while he travels the world, first with a carnival, then on his own, searching for evidence for his hypotheses and continuing his experiments.
Then he disappears. I liked the creepiness and though the style of writing didn't feel s enough, I enjoyed the writing nonetheless. The codex of anatomy studies of various cryptids following the story of Spencer Black is well done, and feels like a serious study by an early surgeon.
Feb 28, Bonnie rated it it was ok Shelves: My rating: All are innocent and equaled when they are on the table. All are exquisite and grotesque. Spencer Black is a controversial surgeon in the late 's who has developed a fascination with the deformities of the human body.
It's a gruesome and at times shocking tale of the lengths the good doctor would go to in order to continue his research. This story defin My rating: This story definitely had potential to fascinate, especially regarding the aspects that Black believed deformities were actually 'evidence of a genetic code that was not completely eradicated'.
The idea that mythological creatures were ancestors of humankind is really quite intriguing but unfortunately failed to stir any lasting interest. It all read like a Wiki page: I think it would have been much more interesting if written as an actual short story or novella rather than a biography.
The artwork was incredibly detailed and Reading this book as an ebook would hardly do it justice considering this is very much a coffee-table type book. It's also a book that could be read through quickly considering the text amounts to approximately 65 pages but considering the style of writing it may be more interesting to read small bits at a time.
Overall I found The Resurrectionist to be a macabre tale that will likely interest fans of Frankenstein and Dr. The artwork is truly the most interesting part of this book and is worth checking out for that alone.
Jun 10, Sud rated it it was amazing Shelves: OK enough adjectives for you. I will warn any readers who are shrinking violets to avoid this book altogether.
The Philadelphia's Museum of Medical Antiquities helped in the publishing of this book by providing many of the preserved notes. It is a shocking and disturbing, depending on your mindset, biography of a deeply brilliant and shockingly disturbed Doctor.
Born in Boston in , Dr. Spencer Black and his older brother, Bernard, to renowned surgeon Gregory Black. Black was a respected professor of anatomy at the Medical Arts College of Boston. But he had a dark side-many of the cadavers for his research came from grave-robbing. In fact, he took his sons with him on his escapades to find "subjects". The father dies of smallpox in and this convinces both brothers to pursue medical studies. Both brothers enter the Philadelphia Academy of Medicine and while Bernard is quite a good student, it turns out that Spencer is brilliant.
Bernard focus on natural history, fossils and natural sciences. Spencer in his first year begins to specialize in the studies of mutations and focuses on sharpening his illustrations skills by sketching anatomy for other Professors. Eventually Spencer's brilliance leads him getting his own Ward-Ward C.
Inside Ward C revolutionary medical procedures cement Spencer's reputation as a prodigy. His illustrative skill has also reached an exceptional level. The rest of the book-using his notes and diary entries shows the slow and steady disintegration of this brilliant mind.
His fascination with vivisection and anatomy have caused him to alienate his other colleagues with his bizarre utterances about legendary creatures. I will not ruin the rest-but it is rather shocking and graphic when you find out what Dr. Black has really been up to. The rest of the book, which is divided into two parts, finishes the downright shocking and horrifying biography of a once brilliant, but now deeply disturbed person.
I will warn you that what is described, is rather graphic. The second part of the book is the Codex Extinct Animalia- stunning reproductions of his vivisectional sketches. He thought there were real mythological creatures and spent time creating "real life" versions of these mythological beats. Again an interesting, but disturbing look, into a brilliantly decaying mind.
If you like horror, I highly recommend this. A beautiful book, well illustrated and of high quality design. This one will grace my tabletop and shock my friends for a long time. View all 5 comments. Jan 25, S. Lindberg rated it it was amazing Shelves: Hybrid Art Forms in Man: Spencer Black opens with a dense, interesting narrative: Readers tend to get bored with extended narratives, so this introduction is appropriately short. The author sets the horrific tenor here, enticing the reader to share the excitement that Spencer feels Hybrid Art Forms in Man: The author sets the horrific tenor here, enticing the reader to share the excitement that Spencer feels for defining the human condition.
Only sensitive readers will cringe at the horror since author E. Hudspeth is tactful in his delivery of the macabre. I hear them marvel at my work—my indignant science. I hear them call out in fear of what they see. And there are some gentlemen who doubt what I will tell them. They call me a liar and a charlatan or a quack. But in time the methods of science that I now employ to convince people will surely set them free—alas, this I cannot explain to the angry fools.
Most understood that all vertebrates shared a common skeletal structure; but if animals and man were connected in their development, was it not reasonable to reconsider the existence of creatures termed mythological?
Were centaurs real? Spencer Black needed to know. Hudspeth uses him to lure us on this quest. There are real life analogues to the fictitious Spencer. Ernst Haeckel — comes to mind. Kunstforman der Natur. But then his fascination with Art-Nature caused an uproar when he tweaked his drawings of embryos in Haeckel envisioned familiarities across the embryos of fish, salamanders, turtles, pigs, rabbits, and humans; then he represented these in an evocative table.
At a time when photography was not practiced, data was art…and vice versa. Some still claim his drawings were legitimate, but in any case, his artistic embellishments stirred a controversy. That controversy is the same the Hudspeth delivers: The fictional Spencer Black is more corrupt than the real Ernest Haeckel, but now their books share space on my bookshelf. I recommend the hardcopy so you can use it as coffee table book.
The anatomical drawings of mythological creatures will certainly entertain and inspire. Preview his artwork at his website: View all 3 comments. May 03, Heather Faville rated it really liked it. Believing that mythological creatures are our human ancestors, Dr Black proceeds to embark on a journey of scientific discovery.
A journey that seems to slowly drive him into madness and ruins any credibility he may have had within his field of study. I will give word of warning, this section is most definitely not for someone with a weak stomach.
While it is very descriptive and gruesome, I found it also very intriguing and actually wish this section was longer. The second section is The Codex Extinct Anamalia in which Dr Black documents and illustrates his findings of the lesser known species of the animal kingdom.
This section is mostly illustrations of various species muscular and skeletal structure done very similarly to Gray's Anatomy. It is well done artwork and for those with great interest in the structure and anatomy of mythological species this is a wonderfully detailed and well done section.
I could even see tattoo artists using this as inspiration for pieces. Spencer Black is a very unique piece of work that would fit very well as a coffee table book in the right household. Filled with highly imaginative and detailed illustrations and a disturbing view into the psyche of what I view as a highly intelligent doctor turned mad by his obsession. May 07, Tabitha rated it it was ok Shelves: Marvelously done anatomical drawings of creatures of myth, but a stale fictional biography.
Perhaps those that enjoy fictional biographies, somber crazed scientists but in an overall droll package? I definitely prefer the autobiography approach more so than the biography. Perhaps if it had been written as such Spencer Black would have been more dynamic and gripping of a character. Of the pages, really only the first 65 of those pages are the biography. The pictures were fascinating, and even some of the details about the creatures — They were gorgeously drawn, even considering your saw the musculature of them.
Students with an Art Major I think would appreciate it. This was indeed the reason why I decided to read it, because I love art. Everything else in The Resurrectionist was rather stale and flat. I was expecting sensationalism, pizazz! I think there could have been more done to really connect you to Spencer Black to make the reader more interested in his life and then also his work. I think perhaps by keeping the tone of the work so close to what perhaps the time period was, and also too closely to that of a medical or research account of things that it left me as the reader no real desire to know about him or at time to even continue reading.
There were also some gruesome scenes of animal experimentation that may not suit all readers. All opinions are completely my own. May 23, Albert rated it it was amazing. Spencer Black is a throwback to the old horror tales of Shelley, Stoker and even dare I say; Lovecraft. Yes I liked it that much. It is actually two books in one. The first book being the story of Dr. The Codex is a Gray's Anatomy tome to mythical creatures.
The drawings of these creatures are detailed and fantastic. The story of Dr. Spencer Black is something altogether The Resurrectionist: Spencer Black is something altogether different.
When I was a child I hadn't the conviction against the belief in God that I have now. My father was not a religious man, however my grandparents were, and they gave me a rigorous theological education.
I was very much afraid of what we did those nights; of all the terrible sins a man might commit, stealing the dead seemed among the worst. In my childish imagination, God's wrathful arm was ever-ready and ever-present. And yet I feared my father even more than I feared my God Born the son of a respected Professor of Anatomy, Spencer and his brother Bernard would go grave robbing with their father at the young age of eleven.
As he became a young man Spencer then turned his studies to medicine and healing birth deformities. It was here, at Philadelphia's Academy of Medicine that Dr. Spencer Black would come to the theory that would change his life.
The belief that birth abnormalities were in fact, the human body remembering what it once was. That the creatures of old, myths and legends, did at one time exist and that we humans, came from this. Unable to convince the colleagues he was once esteemed by, Black turns to Carnival's and Cabinets of Curiosities to prove his theories. One visitor to his show would exclaim After only an hour, the man walked. Everyone applauded but I couldn't; how could I? I saw demon magic, on stage, everyone saw it.
The devil has his own surgeon, and I saw him Stephen Black concludes in macabre and tragic fashion. Harkening to such excesses of science such as Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or Shelley's The Modern Prometheus. There is horror here and it builds as Blacks descends into his own madness. I enjoyed this short tale very much. The artwork in the book is outstanding and the storytelling well paced and suspenseful.
I recommend it highly. The book is done by a small publisher called Quirk Books and well worth the search to find your own copy. May 03, Naberius rated it really liked it.
Dark and delicious. That may sound odd. Now, that's not to say that there are parts of this book that aren't a bit disturbing. Some of the descriptions of Dr. Black's experiments aren't for squeamish readers and I will admit that a few times, I skimmed ahead slightly because of this. However, as much as I was repelled by Black at times, I felt compelled to keep reading.
I suppo Dark and delicious. I suppose I was curious to see what he would do next, as he apparently was descending into madness as time went on. I felt the author did a nice job of combining historically accurate elements, such as some of the attitudes in the medical community during the nineteenth century, along with fantastical creatures. Black's decision to join a carnival, with his "Anatomical Museum" is also in keeping with that time period. Black is told as if by a researcher, who has come upon Black's papers and research.
It lends an outsider point of view, which I liked. Something else that's really cool about this book is that the second half is filled with detailed drawings of creatures such as harpies and mermaids. I found myself poring over these, marveling at all the intricate detailing and labeling and then wondering about this Dr. Black and the lengths he would have had to go through to make such illustrations. While I don't think this book will appeal to all readers, if darker fiction and perhaps, even TV shows like CSI or Hannibal appeals to you, you'll most likely find it a good read.
I enjoyed this book, and was very grateful to receive a copy for my review thank you!! I've had this book on order for my library's collection, and had been eagerly anticipating it hitting the shelves, so it was a treat to see it ahead of time.
Mar 07, Joey Woolfardis rated it liked it Shelves: This kind of book has long been needed and I hope more mythical and folklore creatures get the same treatment. Nov 21, fantasy fiction is everything rated it really liked it. But it is an interesting book. May 27, Alyssa rated it liked it. This review was originally posted on my blog: I was so incredibly stoked when I received The Resurrectionist - simply put, it is a beautiful and stunning book.
The book is broken up into two sections - first, the biography of the fictional anatomist, Dr. Spencer Black and second, a fictional Gray's Anatomy of sorts, filled with beautiful anatomical sketches of mythological creatures. The Codex Extinct Animalia speaks for itself - it is gorgeous. The sketches are professi This review was originally posted on my blog: The sketches are professional and I was surprised by how accurate they were However, the biography of Dr.
Spencer Black is what makes me hesitate about The Resurrectionist. At first, it was what I expected of any story regarding an anatomist and surgeon of the 's - grave digging and primitive dissections included. As Black's story progresses, he becomes a specialist in physical deformities and begins to believe that humans must be distant relatives of long extinct mythological creatures i.
And this is where the story gets iffy. Obviously, Black is disillusioned and his fantastical notions are impossible to back up via science Don't get me wrong, this story was riveting At times, I found myself physically cringing I think that if I read The Resurrectionist closer to Halloween, I would have appreciated it a lot more but for now, I found it pretty disturbing.
If you're into dark story lines and can stomach some disturbing stuff, go ahead and pick up The Resurrectionist. I can guarantee that you will be blown away by the drawings. But, if you have a hard time stomaching gory images, I'd steer clear - this story probably won't sit well with you. The illustrations and plates in this book are wonderful, and the book is aesthetically lovely.
Spencer Black was more than I could handle. At only 65 pages, you'd think I could manage it, but I threw up my hands and almost my lunch around page Smelly old corpses being exhumed and s The illustrations and plates in this book are wonderful, and the book is aesthetically lovely. Smelly old corpses being exhumed and stolen in the middle of the night — hey, no problem.
But I absolutely cannot read about vivisection. When I got to the part about crazy Dr. Black's experiments in that arena, I couldn't go on. Yes, I know it is fiction, this particular tale, but it is so very deeply disturbing to me that I am going to have trouble washing the images out of my mind.
And this is with not finishing the book. Perhaps people with stronger stomachs than mine will do better with it, but I can't imagine anyone short of a serial killer in training actually enjoying it. Five stars for the creativity and artistry of the illustrations, but all the good is negated by the writing.
View all 10 comments. Oct 31, Sharon Barrow Wilfong rated it it was ok. Interesting book, not like anything I have read before, which does not qualify it as the greatest book I've ever read. Still, there were some things to commend it. Hudspeth has written a fictional book in the style of 19th century Victorian writers of science fiction and horror or Steam Punk as it is called today. The first half of the book is the supposed letters, diary and biography of a Dr. Spencer Black who has arrived at the conclusion that deformed people, like those displayed at carnivals Interesting book, not like anything I have read before, which does not qualify it as the greatest book I've ever read.
Spencer Black who has arrived at the conclusion that deformed people, like those displayed at carnivals and sideshows are not deformed, but rather transitional mutations as a part of evolution. Furthermore, he believes that mythological creatures, such as Cerberus the three-headed dog; the Sphynx; Harpies, Mermaids and Sirens, Centaurs and Fauns, even angels, are actual creatures that evolved in certain ways, but have simply become extinct.
Hudspeth cleverly leaves it to the reader as to whether Dr. Black is authentic or crazy. Black spends a lot of time in his laboratory trying to recreate these creatures by sewing together, in a weird mode a la Dr.