Science, Medicine, and Monsters by Jessica Roberts
I am discussing some of the most enduring monsters of nineteenth-century fiction in contemporary medical terms and revealing the relevant scientific events behind the texts.
Part One: Frankenstein
Firstly, Frankenstein written in 1818 by Mary Shelley, wife of Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The idea for this novel famously came about when the Shelleys, along with Byron and his doctor Polidori, were at Lake Geneva and one dark stormy night challenged each other to write a ghost story. Polidori’s novel The Vampyre also came out of this literary experiment.
Critics have long identified Frankenstein as a text about what happens when a man tries to create life without a woman. They cite Mary Shelley’s recent sad loss of her baby as inspirational for this dark and tormented tale. She does write in her journal, “Dream that my little baby came to life again — that it had only been cold, and that we rubbed it by the fire and it lived — I awake and find no baby.”
However, Shelley was also inspired by real science that probed the boundaries of life and death, and I want to first mention a debate between two prominent London surgeons and show you how medical discourse influenced Shelley’s work.
John Abernethy and William Lawrence gave these lectures in the years 1814-1819. The surgeons had a personal relationship – Abernethy was Lawrence’s mentor for a time – but this relationship turned publically sour during the course of the lectures. The subject of the series of lectures was anatomy, the study of the structure of living things, and they were delivered by Abernethy and Lawrence consecutively at the Royal College of Surgeons of London.
In fact, the lectures contained an extended debate between the surgeons on the nature and source of life. Was life merely the product of ‘organisation,’ meaning the biology and chemistry of the body working in its proper manner? Or, was it something else, a divine spark perhaps, and could this spark be recreated by something as commonplace as electricity?
Abernethy and Lawrence both had personal ties to the Shelley family: Percy Shelley read and attended Abernethy’s lectures, and Lawrence was the Shelley family’s friend and physician. The publication of Frankenstein in 1818 in the midst of the debate reflected this interrogation of the categories of life and death. As stated in the Edinburgh Review during the start of the debate: “there is not, at this moment, a term which is used with greater ambiguity, than the term Life” (386).
Shelley’s novel describes the creation of life by man: Victor Frankenstein uses mysterious science to animate a Creature made from body parts. So far, so science fiction… but in the ‘Introduction’ to the 1831 edition of the novel, Shelley describes the inspiration for the Creature’s mode of animation, saying, “perhaps a corpse would be re-animated; galvanism had given a token of such things: perhaps the component parts of the creature might be manufactured, brought together, and endued with vital warmth.” (10) The idea of a reanimated corpse is reiterated in this engraving, which shows the creature in a pile of bones. So, what is Shelley referring to by Galvanism?
In the 1770s and 1780s, Luigi Galvani, the professor of anatomy at the University of Bologna, performed a series of experiments using electricity to stimulate the muscles of a dead frog. His nephew, Giovanni Aldini, took these experiments further and, in 1803, administered an electrical current to the body of a criminal who’d been hanged for murder. When he applied the current to the face “the jaw of the deceased criminal began to quiver, and the adjoining muscles were horribly contorted, and one eye was actually opened” (“Medical and Physical Intelligence,” 195).
Gruesome stuff! Frankenstein can be read as a kind of exploration of tensions in science and medicine. Anne Mellor has argued that the novel is primarily a dramatized conflict between two camps: ‘scientific research which attempts to describe accurately the functionings of the physical universe and that which attempts to control or change the universe through human intervention’ (90).
Part Two: Jekyll and Hyde
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, which hereafter I shall simply call Jekyll and Hyde, was written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and published in 1886, in the late Victorian period.
In this novella, just as in Shelley’s Frankenstein, we have a man creating a monster through the use of mysterious experiments, and despite the scientist’s best efforts, he loses control of the monster and it unleashes terror on society. As in Frankenstein, we can say that the monster represents a doubling of its creator: there is a bond between monster and creator that seems inextricable and yet must be broken. Anxiety about science and medical experimentation surround each text.
Today I want to talk about the idea of the fractured self as part of medical discourse of the late nineteenth century; I will then talk about the idea of degeneration and the anxiety surrounding life in the metropolis, where you no longer knew what your neighbours might be up to behind closed doors. However, first, I want to delve into a bit of myth and murder.
The Whitechapel murders began very shortly after Jekyll and Hyde was published. “Jack the Ripper” was compared to Hyde in newspaper reports of the period. The Pall Mall Gazette wrote that “there seems to be a tolerably realistic impersonation of Mr Hyde at large in Whitechapel”; a slur perhaps, against the unrealistic impersonation that could be seen during the “Ripper” murders at the theatre. An actor named Richard Mansfield played both Jekyll and Hyde in a stage version of the text in 1888 at London’s Lyceum Theatre.
Just days later the first murder of a prostitute in Whitechapel sparked a connection so strong in the public imagination that Mansfield decided to cancel the remaining performances of the play, and rumours even started that the actor himself had become a suspect in the criminal investigation into the “Jack the Ripper” murders. One of the great controversies of the case was that some of the evidence pointed to the “Ripper” being a gentleman rather than a working class criminal. Similarly “Spring-heeled Jack” was a character from folklore: a truly urban legend described by George Eberhart in his dictionary of Cryptozoology as a tall, thin figure with glowing red eyes who stalked the streets of London.
He had the supernatural ability to leap great distances and almost fly through the air. This illustration depicts his dress as gentlemanly. This monster was reported to have attacked several people from the 1830s, right through to the 1870s when the last sighting took place. Police at the time theorized that the attacker may have been a real man with springs in his shoes, and even lined up the Marquis of Waterford as a suspect, but never brought him to trial. The idea that a well to do figure in society may be committing attacks on the streets after dark was controversial at the time.
However, and this is where the science comes in, the famous line from the Jekyll and Hyde is: “Man is not truly one but truly two” (84). Chris Baldick states that: “Stevenson suggests […] that human identity is merely an assemblage of ill-fitting fragments; that what we please to call the ‘individual’ is in fact endlessly divisible” (146).
Psychoanalysis, the idea that the unconscious holds secret, dark, possibly evil desires that must manifest themselves somehow in our conscious lives, was being put forward by Sigmund Freud in the final decades of the century. The monster could now be inside us. Medical discourse began to focus on the problem of the fractured self, and the “Jekyll and Hyde phenomenon” became shorthand for the idea of competing personalities that threatened a healthy mind. Alfred Binet, the French psychologist who was responsible for the first IQ test describes the idea of two personalities in one body. Binet states:
A great number of psychological phenomena are to be explained by a disease of the primality, which consists of a division, or rather a breaking up of the ego; the normal unity of the consciousness is destroyed; several distinct consciousnesses are produced; each one may have its own perceptions, its memory, even its moral character. (“Jekyll and Hyde in Science” 245)
Here an almost Freudian model of the psyche is referred to, but the “ego”, the conscious part of us that best represents who we actually are, is fractured, and several personalities can be produced with competing ideas on morality and the world. Paraphrasing the way in which Binet writes that these competing personalities live within one body, the article continues:
Let one state be called Jekyll and the other Hyde; Jekyll will remember what Jekyll did, and continue to act accordingly, while Hyde, who has no knowledge of remembrance of Jekyll, will remember in like manner what Hyde did. Involuntarily the reader will recall the famous “I think, therefore I am” of Descartes and will ask […] “But if two think, do therefore two exist?” (“Jekyll and Hyde in Science” 245)
Yes, says Binet. Two minds, personalities, even souls, if you like, can exist within one body, without any knowledge of one another’s antics.
Stevenson, who briefly studied engineering before deciding upon a literary career, loosely based Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on two famous French case studies of dual personality whose “double lives” were widely discussed in French and British periodicals. In the late nineteenth century, cases of dual personality were often attributed to bilateral brain hemisphere asymmetry. Victorian physiologists argued that if one brain hemisphere were larger than the other, madness and criminality could result.
Moral depravity and intellectual regression stemmed from an oversized right brain hemisphere, which supposedly housed primitive instincts and emotions (in stark contrast to the highly evolved left brain). While Jekyll demonstrates rational, civilized, left-brain tendencies, his double, Hyde, exhibits atavistic traits and base passions characteristic of right-brain dominance. In physiological terms, then, Dr. Jekyll is guilty of allowing his right-brain tendencies to overwhelm his more highly evolved left-brain functions.
Linked to this is the idea of degeneration. The theory of evolution, once so contested, was beginning to be more accepted in the period. Darwin’s theory of natural selection titled On the Origin of Species was published in 1859.
Theories of the ways in which the human race changed over time had been debated and contested throughout the nineteenth century. With industrialization forcing people into horrific living conditions, like the slums of Victorian London, there was cultural anxiety that perhaps evolution could, in fact, go the other way. Within the lower classes, anxious middle class Victorians saw moral degradation, sexual depravity, madness, criminality, and rampant disease which pointed, for some, to a reversal or degeneration of civilization. as William Greenslade writes:
There was a paradox to be explained, and it was, in simple terms, the growing sense that the last decades of the century of a lack of synchrony between the rhetoric of progress, the confident prediction…of ever increasing prosperity and wealth, and the facts on the ground, the evidence in front of people’s eyes, of poverty and degradation at the heart of ever richer empires. (15)
Greenslade first calls the idea of degeneration an “explanatory myth”, but this “myth” became medicalized. Professionals attempted to theorize and explain, in scientific terms, how degeneration worked and how it presented itself. Let’s have a look at the cartoon of “Jack the Ripper” from Punch Magazine. In light of evolutionary theory and of the idea of degeneration, we notice his appearance is distinctly ape-like.
This is the late Victorian age of Imperialism and genius and madness were seen as closely aligned in the period. Think about, for example, the character of Kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The question of how different civilized white man actually was to those colonized peoples was being raised in the period. The immoderate use of alcohol was also a concern and not just among the working classes. Jekyll compares himself to a “drunkard” (97) when he decides to relinquish the Hyde persona. Hyde himself is described in terms of degeneration:
“There must be some-thing else,” said the perplexed gentleman. “There is something more, if I could find a name for it. God bless me, the man seems hardly human! Something troglodytic, shall we say? […] is it the mere radiance of a foul soul that thus transpires through, and transfigures, its clay continent? The last, I think; for, O my poor old Harry Jekyll, if ever I read Satan’s signature upon a face, it is on that of your new friend.” (21)
A troglodyte is a cave-dwelling being, something primeval and primal, and uncivilized.
So Jekyll describes the way in which the drug merely casts off his illusion of identity, rather than creating a new one: Hyde is described not as a new personality, but as a part of his own self, a degenerate, lower, or deviant part.
Jekyll and Hyde is, in a sense, an updating of the Frankenstein story, displaying contemporary anxieties focusing on the new structure of Victorian metropolitan society. It also focuses on contemporary medical debate: instead of the nature of life, it is the nature of the human psyche under interrogation. As Andrew Griffin asserts:
It is Mr Hyde who best epitomises Victorian monstrosity. Where Frankenstein, a Romantic scientist, labors to unite contrary elements and make a man, Dr Jekyll labors to dissociate them and unmake man, to separate and liberate from each other the ‘polar twins’ he finds perpetually at war within human nature. (71-2).
So Stevenson uses the character of Hyde to explore the deviant side that may be lurking in every proper Victorian gentleman, and may be unleashed by intemperance or transgression. I wonder, though, how monstrous we can really find Hyde? Early readers of Stevenson’s text are said to have strongly admired the character. Stevenson portrays the middle-class professionals such as Jekyll and his friends as “dry, dull and dead-alive” and Jekyll, after all, is the hypocrite in the text. Is Hyde truly the “other”? Or is he merely the unfettered self?
Part 3: Dracula
Now I’m going to discuss the final text, Dracula….
In this 1898 novel, Stoker borrowed ideas from modern science, and pseudo-science, to engage an audience that was bang up to date with fascinating developments in these areas. Stoker read Science and Pure Mathematics At Trinity College, Dublin. He also came from a family of successful physicians and obtained a master’s degree in science. I am going to look at some key contemporary scientific ideas that Stoker uses in his novel.
The novel’s mixture of the supernatural (or archaic) and the bang-up-to-date modern was largely criticized by its reviewers:
We think his story would have been all the more effective if he had chosen an earlier period. The up-to-dateness of the book – the phonograph diaries, typewriters, and so on – hardly fits in with the medieval methods which ultimately secure the victory for Count Dracula’s foes. (The Spectator, 31 July 1897)
In surrounding his gruesome and fantastically supernatural root idea with a framework plainly matter-of-fact and purely of 19th Century structure, Mr. Stoker has, we think, gone too far in the introduction of complicated details. As the book also contains much about hypnotism medically employed, semi-medieval philosophy, and applications of the latest information concerning the workings of the abnormal brain, it must be [read] very carefully indeed if the reader wishes to grasp all the threads in the author’s elaborately constructed argument. (The Stage, June 17, 1897)
These reviews find a jarring breakdown of meaning between the old fashioned and superstitious elements of the story and its modern British setting. The first review says that the story would be more effective or believable (perhaps more scary!) if it had been set in a past era. Of course, many Gothic novels are set in the past – it is a convention of the genre. By defying this convention, Stoker’s text is ineffective, according to the reviewer. Despite the inclusion of modern technology (the phonographic diaries and typewriters etc) the vampire is defeated by what are described as “medieval methods”.
The second review describes Dracula as being transplanted, almost, from the realms of the fantastic to the very mundane modern urban setting, again robbing the text of its effectiveness. It is neither pure fantasy, nor a realist novel; it is a hybrid. The sciences of hypnosis and psychology again juxtaposed with the archaic “philosophy” of the supernatural are a combination that the reviewer finds difficult to understand.
That great Victorian desire to categorize has been denied. On this subject, both crime and madness are key themes in Victorian sensation fiction, and the lines between the two are often substantially blurred. This is very apparent when we consider the infant science of psychology.
The interest in psychological disorders increased throughout the nineteenth century. Most obviously, in Dracula, we have the character of Renfield, the ‘zoophagous’ patient. (zoophagus means he eats live animals –insects and birds in this case). Dr. Seward’s diary entries begin with Renfield as a “case study”; he is described in these medical terms. Increasing numbers of psychiatric hospitals, or asylums, were built around London’s outskirts during the nineteenth century: Renfield resides in one of these. The portrayal of Renfield and the asylum doctor were praised by contemporary critics as both interesting to the reader- showing public fascination with madness- and realistic:
A careful study of the zoophagous maniac who after devouring flies and spiders, is tempted by the Count to taste human blood is one of the most interesting things in a volume full of excellently drawn character sketches; the old Amsterdam Professor, for instance, with his curious blend of ancient and modern science and Catholic superstitions, the self-sacrificing young American, and the asylum doctor, being admirably depicted. (The Stage, June 17, 1897)
The idea of the character study will become more relevant as the lecture continues: but the novel is described almost in the terms of a scientific text here. Again we have the idea of the juxtaposition of the old and the new, this time in the character of Van Helsing. The relatively minor character of Renfield however, is described as one of the best things about the whole book – because the portrayal of his madness and criminality is so real and so detailed. It is described as “most interesting” and “excellently drawn”: this small part of the text fascinated the Victorian reader because it felt very modern, very medical, and very real.
Renfield is first described as “unlike the normal lunatic” (78). The idea of a “normal lunatic” may seem oxymoronic to us, but this demonstrates the attitude that mental illness could be controlled, categorized, and understood by professional medicine in the period. The doctor’s notes are that of medical case history: “R. M. Renfield, aetat. 59” –“aetat” is Latin for age—and the reader is persuaded that they are reading medical notes. This authentic style can be seen throughout the novel- it is structured so that the events unfold as recorded by the characters. The pieces have been gathered up and presented to us as real. Remember what I said last week about Stoker’s introduction to the Icelandic edition of the text: he swore that the events had actually happened and British people remembered them.
Anne Styles notes: “the omniscient third-person narration present in many realist novels likewise resembles the objective, scientific detachment of Victorian medical writing”, or, that the way in which novels were often written in the period, by a narrator who could see into the character’s thoughts and presents them to us as facts is similar to a scientific study, and that “the realist narrator can even be likened to a physician who takes account of characters’ “symptomatic” behaviors as part of a detailed character study”, or, these thoughts and actions are analysed in great detail for us as the reader as if the characters are medical specimens.
This works particularly well when we consider the form of Dracula: the novel is purported to be made up of diary entries and letters, among other seemingly “authentic” forms. According to Styles, Stoker’s manuscript notes for Dracula demonstrate that he sought medical advice on head injuries from his brother, distinguished physician Sir William Thornley Stoker, then president of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. This advice was used to lend clinical accuracy to the death scene of the insect-eating madman, Renfield. This shows his awareness of the current interest his reader would have had in psychology- particularly criminal psychology. This science was in its early days, and, as such, engaged a lay audience. You could keep abreast of all the latest developments in this science by reading general interest magazines, and you did not have to be a medical professional to have a decent knowledge of it.
A key text for psychology is Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, published 1900. I mentioned in last week’s lecture that it has been proven that Stoker was keenly interested in Freudian theory. Dr. Seward explores the idea of the unconscious when he writes of Renfield:
There is method in his madness, and the rudimentary idea in my mind is growing. It will be a whole idea soon, and then, oh unconscious cerebration! You will have to give the wall to your conscious brother (88).
Here, Seward asserts the view that Renfield’s seeming random madness must have an underlying cause or method. He then describes an idea forming in his own unconscious, which he is convinced he can unpack and bring in to his conscious thought.
States of semi-consciousness, dreams, and trances can also be found throughout the text, exploring for the reader what this new view of the subconscious might mean: a kind of thought-experiment in itself and questioning what might these new developments in the science of the mind might reveal. Styles writes:
Dracula tackles some of the thorniest issues raised by cerebral localization debates. Stoker’s famous vampire and his minions exhibit semi-conscious, trance-like behaviors that owe much to late-Victorian interest in cerebral automatism and unconscious cerebration. According to localizationists, semi-conscious reflex behaviors such as Lucy’s sleepwalking, Dracula’s daytime hibernation, and Mina’s clairvoyant trances could be traced back to the brain stem. The horror of Stoker’s Dracula proceeds not just from the Count’s repellent vampirism, but also from the looming threat that human beings might be soulless machines governed solely by physiological impulses. (11).
Here, Styles asserts that, for the Victorian reader, it was not only the vampiric nature of Count Dracula that provided the terror. The idea that human beings might be controlled by their unconscious, which in turn was controlled by the physical matter of the brain, was scary. We might not have a higher part, or soul, but be merely machines controlled by something that we are not even aware of. Seward views Renfield as an experiment that offers hope of unlocking the secrets of the diseased brain, writing:
Men sneered at vivisection, and yet look at its results today! Why not advance science in its most difficult and vital aspect – the knowledge of the brain? Had I even the secret of one such mind – did I hold the key to even the fancy of even one lunatic – I might advance my own branch of science to a pitch compared with which Burdon-Sanderson’s physiology or Ferrier’s brain knowledge would be as nothing… may not I too be of an exceptional brain, congenitally? (90)
Seward makes reference to two prominent physiologists who advanced the study of neuroscience by experimenting on live animals: Sir John Scott Burdon-Sanderson (1828-1905) was a physiologist who measured the electrical output of the heart, and noted the relations of minute organisms to disease. James Frederick Ferrier (1808-1864) was a philosopher who published doctrines in metaphysics. By anchoring his doctor’s notes in reality, Stoker again adds authenticity. The horror of vivisection (performing an autopsy on a live specimen) also invokes that key question in science: does the end always justify the means?
Styles writes that:
Critics have tended to overlook this passage, and perhaps understandably so – on the surface, neurological experiments seemingly have little to do with vampires, crucifixes, and the other supernatural mysteries at the heart of Stoker’s novel. But in fact, a series of neurological experiments that began in the 1860s and 1870s – conducted by Sir David Ferrier, among others – had a profound impact on late-Victorian Gothic novels and romances such as Dracula. In turn, these novels often influenced the direction of future neurological research. This seemingly unlikely, symbiotic relationship between fin-de-siècle neurology and certain kinds of popular fiction extends to matters of form as well as content. (1)
Again evoking the juxtaposition in the novel between supernatural and science, here Styles takes a Historicist argument to its full conclusion and presents a “symbiotic” or mutually influential relationship between fiction and science. One example of this is the use of Robert Louis Stevenson’s characters Jekyll and Hyde by medical sources. The “Jekyll and Hyde phenomenon” became shorthand for the idea of competing personalities that threatened a healthy mind and these names were actually used in medical discussions of the fractured self. My point is that this works both ways: as my argument for this lecture is that science influences literature, it also works the other way. Literary texts are not just a representative of the culture in which they were written – they also inform it.
I now want to focus on how Stoker uses a more pseudo-scientific idea: physiognomy….
Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909), was an Italian Criminal Anthropologist and Stoker knew his book Uomo Delinquente (1876) in its French translation as L’Homme Criminel (1895). This work was well-known in England, but not translated into English until 1911. The book considers criminal ‘physiognomy’: the idea that a person’s character (and criminal tendencies) could be assessed by the structure of their facial features.
You can apply these very loose descriptors to almost any villain, there are so many different ‘criminal types.’
Stoker drew from this pseudo-scientific text for his description of Count Dracula, relating physiognomy to criminality and degeneration. Here is the first proper description of Dracula:
His face was a strong – very strong – aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils; with lofty domed forehead, and hair growing scantily round the temples, but profusely elsewhere. His eyebrows were very massive, almost meeting over the nose, and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its own profusion. The mouth, so far as I could see it under the heavy moustache, was fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth; these protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed astonishing vitality in a man of his years. For the rest, his ears were pale and at the tops extremely pointed; the chin was broad and strong, and the cheeks firm though thin. The general effect was one of extraordinary pallor. (26)
This is from an English translation of Lombroso’s Uomo Delinquente (Criminal Man):
Habitual murderers have a cold, glassy stare, and eyes that are sometimes bloodshot and filmy; the nose is often hawklike, and always large; the jaw is strong, the cheekbones broad; and their hair is dark, abundant, and crisply textured. Their beards are scanty, their canine teeth very developed, and their lips thin. Often their faces contract, exposing the teeth. (51)
There are several obvious similarities. Let’s start with the nose. It is described as “aquiline”, so that means high, and with arched nostrils. It is like a beak, or, in Lombroso’s words: hawk-like. Dracula’s hair, while scanty around the temples, is “profuse” elsewhere and “bushy”: Lombroso writes that murderers have scanty beards, but “abundant” and “crisply textured” hair. Dracula’s “sharp white teeth” match Lombroso’s murderer’s “very developed” and “exposed” canines. Dracula’s “broad and strong” chin echoes the “strong jaw” of the murderer. I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise you that Dracula’s pointy ears are also a feature of Lombroso’s “Criminal man.”
Van Helsing describes Dracula as a criminal, with a “child-brain…predestinate to crime” (360). Mina, translating, says that “the Count is a criminal, and of a criminal type. Nordau and Lombroso would so classify him … he is of imperfectly formed mind”. While Dracula seems to be a perfect example of a degenerate criminal, however, we learn that he is much more. Here, modern science fails and they must resort to “medieval methods” to defeat the vampire.
Science and literature are often seen as opposing hemispheres, but it is in the pages of fiction that writers expressed society’s darkest fears about the progress of medical science. Terms such as ‘franken-food’ are still used today to describe scientifically modified products, and the endless adaptations of all three works (Sean Bean in a Frankenstein TV show; at least two Frankenstein films in the last year; Jekyll and Hyde currently on ITV; new Dracula TV show and film in 2014) demonstrates that both the monsters and the anxieties they represented at the time are enduring.
List of Works Cited
You can read Frankenstein, Jekyll and Hyde, and Dracula free online at gutenberg.org, GoogleBooks, or download through the Kindle app.
Anon. “An Inquiry into the Probability and Rationality of Mr Hunter’s Theory of Life; being the subject of the first Two Anatomical Lectures, delivered before the Royal College of Surgeons, of London.” Edinburgh Review, or Critical Journal. 23:46 (1814): 384-99. British Periodicals Online. Web. 8 Oct. 2011.
Anon. “Jekyll and Hyde in Science.” The Review of Reviews. 3:15 (1891): 245. British Periodicals Online. Web. 6 Mar 2012.
Anon. “Medical and Physical Intelligence.” The London Medical and Physical Journal.Vol. 9. London: Phillips, 1803. Google Books. Web. 7 November 2011.
Baldick, C. In Frankenstein’s Shadow: Myth, Monstrosity and Nineteenth-Century Writing. Oxford: OUP, 1987. Print.
Greenslade, W. Degeneration, Culture, and the Novel 1880-1940. Cambridge: CUP, 1994.
Griffin, A. “Fire and Ice in Frankenstein”. The Endurance of Frankenstein. Ed George Levine and U. C. Knoepflmacher. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979. Print.
Lombroso, C. Criminal Man. Trans Mary Gibson and Nicole Hahn Rafter. Duke University Press, 2006.
Mellor, A, Mary Shelley: Her Life, her Fiction, her Monsters. New York and London: Routledge, 1988. Print.
Styles, A. Popular Fiction and Brain Science in the Late Nineteenth Century. Cambridge: CUP, 2011.