The Whitechapel Murders
Journalism, Gothic London and the medical gaze
in Victorian demons
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This chapter discusses the inquest reports and the autopsies of Annie Chapman and Elizabeth Stride. It also discusses the inquest and autopsy of Martha Tabram who the police believed at the time to be an early victim of the Whitechapel murderer. It explores how the press used elements of the Gothic in their coverage of the murders. Such reportage constructed London as a Gothic place, inhabited by Gothic villains who preyed on prostitutes. The Gothic had influenced the reporting of particularly gruesome murders earlier in the nineteenth century, and the term 'horripilation' was coined to designate such journalism. The chapter also discusses how an examination of the medical profession implicates a particular model of middle-class masculinity. This specific male gaze articulates an anxiety about authority, one which was referenced through images of a threatened medical profession.

Victorian demons

Medicine, masculinity and the Gothic at the fin de siecle

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