An Account of the Late Improvements in Galvanism: With a Series of Curious and Interesting Experiments Performed Before the Commission of the French National Institute

An account of the late improvements in galvanism : with a series of curious and interesting experiments performed before the commission of the French National Institute and repeated lately in the anatomical theatres of London

Aldini, Giovanni

Printed for Cuthell and Martin ... by Wilks and Taylor, 1803

[The Birth of Frankenstein: Early Work on Electricity] Bound in contemporary calf. Rebacked.Red leather spine label. Housed in custom clam shell case. Shelf wear. xi, 221 pages, [4] folded leaves of plates : illustrations.  Engraved title page. "to which is added an appendix containing the author's experiments on the body of a malefactor executed at Newgate."  An interesting book which contains Aldini's famous experiment on electro-stimulation of the dead body of George Forster, a criminal executed at Newgate Prison in 1803.  In a public demonstration, Aldini used electricity to cause "the jaw began to quiver, the adjoining muscles were horribly contorted and the left eye actually opened" (p. 193). According to Jeremy Norman, "Aldini's spectacle seized the imagination of the British public and remained an enduring theme in popular culture. Mary Shelley, who knew of Aldini's work, used the idea of galvanic reanimation to brilliant effect in her classic novel Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus (1818)" This book also contains Aldini's use of electricity to cure mentally ill patients with shocks to the brain, the first reported use of electro-shock treatments.  Early Library Company of Baltimore bookplate.

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