The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work and Writings of Dr. Spencer Black Hardcover – Illustrated, 15 May 2013
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The vivid imagery unveiled becomes the dark fantasy response to Gray's Anatomy...--Filter Magazine--The book is a welcome addition to any library of dark fantasy, with its beautiful portraiture and gripping description of a man's descent into perversity.--Publishers Weekly,April, 2013 Pick of the Week Disturbingly lovely . . . 'The Resurrectionist' is itself a cabinet of curiosities, stitching history and mythology and sideshow into an altogether different creature. Deliciously macabre and beautifully grotesque.--Erin Morgenstern, author of 'The Night Circus' --A masterful mash-up of Edgar Allan Poe and Jorge Luis Borges, with the added allure of gorgeous, demonically detailed drawings. I've never seen anything quite like 'The Resurrectionist', and I doubt that I will ever forget it." --Chase Novak, author of Breed
...is a book of two halves. The first half is a biography of Dr Spencer Black:anthropologist, taxidermist and latterly madman. The second half of the book is an anatomical study of a variety of mythological beings taken from Dr Black's notes. The fictional biography is an engrossing read that describes Dr Black's descent into madness as he becomes engrossed in his theories on alternate evolution. While Hudspeth is certainly not the first writer to tackle the subject of crypto-zoology, her take on the subject matter is refreshing and brings to mind the works of H. P Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe.....The anatomical study is beautifully macabre. The introductory notes for each entry contain details pf wher the specimins were found alongside Dr Black's theories of why the creature evolved as it did. These notes are followed by lavishly detailed renderings of the skeletal structure and musculuture which are the equal of any academic textbook. The book is a grotesque sideshow that you just can't stop looking at. highly recommended for fans of the mabacabre and anyone with an interest in gothic artwork and fiction. --Fever Dreams, May, 2013
This strange and intriguing tome is part biography of a fictional 19th century grave-robber-cum-surgical genius, Dr Spencer Black. He spent his life touring with freakshows and exploring the idea that mankind evolved from mythological beings. The second half of the book is a result of his anatomical drawings of these various extinct curiosities, such as mermaids, minotaurs and satyrs. It's a beautiful book, and entertainingly written, a kind of carnivalesque mix of Darwinism, Latin class and early macabre novelist Arthur Machen - perhaps even with a smidgen of Frankenstein for the medical stuff...Maybe someone would like to turn Dr Black's story into a film? It'd be damn good, you know.... --Bizarre magazine, July, 2013
I guarantee that 'The Resurrectionist' will be unlike any book you've ever read before. Two books in one - the first a Gothic Frankenstein-esque narrative about the brilliant scientist Dr. Spencer Black; the second an anatomical sketchbook of fantastical creatures - this macabre production will stay with you long after you read it. The story is flawless; the imagery is at home with so many other wonderful curiosities such as the work of Walter Potter, the show Carnivale, the blog Morbid Anatomy... while the tale itself is perfectly pitched Victorian Gothic. The anatomical sketches are haunting and strangely beautiful; illustrations that are hard to tear your eyes away from.... --OutrightBarbarious blog, June, 2013
About the Author
E. B. HUDSPETH is an artist and author living in New Jersey. This is his first book.
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Top Customer Reviews
And to be honest, the picture of a winged-humanoid skeleton, with every bone carefully catalogued, was enough to reel me into checking out this book. It's a pseudo-biography of a fictional man who devoted himself to the scientific study of ancient mythical creatures -- and while E.B. Hudspeth spins a fine fictional biography, the illustrations are what really took my breath away.
The book tells the story of Spencer Black, a 19th-century physician whose father was a grave-robbing professor of anatomy. That fascination with anatomy carried over into Black's career -- first he became fascinated by transformation in the insect world, and then by the workings of the human body. But when he encounters the corpse of a "fawn-child," his research took an unexpected turn.
After that, Dr. Black came up with a shocking, controversial theory: that mythical creatures were not only real, but were ancestors of humanity. According to him, birth defects were just those ancient genetic traits trying to resurface. So he tried to create his own "mythical" creatures by grafting together body parts from different animals -- which, unsurprisingly, the scientific community was unimpressed by.
The late 19th century is a perfect era for the fictional Dr. Black -- it was a time of massive technological advances and strange new pseudosciences. Just think of the Fiji Mermaid. So while "The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr.Read more ›
I'm not gonna lie I bought this for the drawings. I waned unctuous Victorian looking creatures bodies and creepy skeletons. I don't care about building up mythologies of fictional people's lives. But therein lies the kicker; most of this book is fiction. The drawings are the smallest part. And they suck. They really suck. It is so badly drawn I can't express. The heads are drawn out of proportion, (doesn't the 'illustrator' know that the number one rule of drawing heads it that eyes are half way down the face not up in the forehead?) the faces are laughable, creatures do not look seamlessly joined, they look like the illustrator has copied a snake say and then a lion and stopped drawing where they should meet. The hands are classic 'can't draw hands' style hand drawings. It's terrible. I have attached a picture for you to see. Look how flat and weird the hair looks! And it's so poorly presented inside. As i said, I'm proper annoyed at this book!
The first half of the book consists of his diary entries, all of which are quite well written, if bordering on the improbible at times. While the second half shows anatomical and skeletal diagrams for how mythological beasts would have been 'constructed'.
If you're interested in mythologcal animals and anatomy, I'd suggest getting this book, even if just as an odd curiosity to pick up and thumb through the nice diagrams.
What I loved about the book was that if you remove the external cover, the print on the hardback is that of an old book. I love that touch.
This book charts a talented doctor and scientist's descent from sanity, respectability and professionalism to obsession and madness, all sadly at the expense of his wife and children.
Hudspeth has cleverly juxtaposed a story about ghouls and mythology with the puritan values of nineteenth century America. Couple the story of the first part with the anatomical artwork and this is a very clever idea expertly executed.
It is a little thin on story, but that is perhaps a deliberate ploy to make Black more enigmatic and mysterious. Suffice to say, I read this quickly and was hooked throughout. This is a Gothic, tragic, and at times, shocking work of fiction. The artwork is beautiful as well as thought provoking; Hudspeth should be applauded for tackling a controversial subject of vivisectionist work and science against the backdrop of a highly moralistic society. Genius to madness has been covered before, but this is a moving and understated work where the realms of myth and fantasy meet the real world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A beautifully illustrated book - ideal present for anyone who is a fan of both anatomically correct monsters and gothic horror stories.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
A beautifully presented book that is very interesting if you are into this kind of thing, very factual and good to flick through but not really a sit down and read bookPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I purchased this for my husband and it is absolutely brilliant.
The images are amazing, a really great purchase.