Exploring Frankenstein's Scientific Roots & Victorian Medical Practices with Cat Irving At Highgate Cemetery Chapel
On Thursday 12th October 2023 from 7:00 pm

Frankenstein is a novel that revolves around the creation of life, but, as Victor Frankenstein acknowledges, a comprehensive understanding of life necessitates an exploration of death. The novel's ideas are deeply rooted in the scientific inquiries and discussions prevalent during that era from galvanism and electrical stimulation to natural philosophy and alchemy.

In this talk, Cat Irving, a Human Remains Conservator, will examine Mary Shelley's masterpiece within the historical context of early nineteenth-century medicine, where the utilisation of deceased bodies was prevalent. She will uncover stories involving trembling cadavers, inept surgeons, and the sinister activities of body snatchers. By delving into this context, a richer understanding of Frankenstein and its connections to the medical practices of the time will emerge.

Tickets £12 including an evening walk through the Egyptian Avenue and a Victorian punch. Please click here to buy.

Cat Irving has been the Human Remains Conservator for Surgeons’ Hall since 2015 and has been caring for anatomical and pathological museum collections for over twenty years. After a degree in Anatomical Science she began removing brains and sewing up bodies at the Edinburgh City Mortuary. Following training in the care of wet tissue collections at the Royal College of Surgeons of England she worked with the preparations of William Hunter at the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University. She recently carried out conservation work on the skeleton of nineteenth century serial killer William Burke.




The Venue - Highgate Cemetery