Mummies, cannibals, and vampires

Egyptian mummy of a young girl

Egyptian mummy of a young girl. Source: Wikimedia Commons

This catchy title by Richard Sugg, Mummies, cannibals, and vampires : the history of corpse medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians attracted my eyes and the tale emanating from it is more than enough to quench any horror/fantasy fan’s thirst for blood. Cannibalistic medical practices were the norm in Europe. Human bodies were considered therapeutic agents and Europeans were certainly gruesome in their approach to medicine as they would recycle body parts to cure anything from cancer to depression. Did you know that Charles I was made into medicine?

Richard Sugg takes an interesting approach to corpse medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorian age, and shines a light on a somewhat hidden subject. But how do the mummies, cannibals and vampires come into the picture? Well, human flesh and blood were often used for medicinal purposes, e.g the poor would gather at execution sights and drink the blood of executed prisoners. It was not uncommon that Egyptian mummies were used against bruising. All told, these substances and other body parts were commonly found in the cadavers from this period. Check this book out if you’re into morbid reads!

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