What is Galvanism, And How Did it Inspire Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein?

On 18 January 1803, George Foster was hanged by the neck. The jury had found him guilty of murdering his wife and child by drowning them in London’s Paddington Canal. The judge sentenced him to death, and as was the practice in those times for violent crimes, his body was awarded to the medical institution to be dissected and experimented. Shortly before his execution at the Newgate prison, Foster made a full confession of his gruesome crime.

After his swift execution, George Foster’s lifeless body was taken to the Royal College of Surgeons, where an audience of doctors and curiosity-seekers had assembled to watch one of the strangest demonstration in medical science, carried out by Giovanni Aldini, an Italian physician and nephew of the late Luigi Galvani. Many of those present in the anatomy theater that day believed they were about to witness a corpse being brought back to life.

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Rising of a corpse galvanized by a primitive galvanic battery.

Source: amusingplanet.com

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