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The Body-Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson
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The Body-Snatcher

by Robert Louis Stevenson

50 ratings, 9 reviews

Robert Louis Stevenson's short story The Body-Snatcher (1884) is the tale of MacFarlane and Fettes, a pair of "resurrection men," or body-snatchers - unsavory types who secretly disinter fresh corpses from graveyards to sell as anatomy subjects. This grim little tale is based on reality, as in Edinburgh - Stevenson's home town - body-snatching was so common they built high walls and guard towers around the graveyards. Sometimes, for want of a corpse, an even less scrupulous body-snatcher might just off someone in the night instead of risking a trip to a rural graveyard…but I don't want to give away too much.

Stevenson, who was a super-famous and prolific author in his time, is making something of a comeback. For a time there he was poo poo'd as a second-class writer of children's and horror stories, not on par with "serious literature." He was left out of anthologies and not taught in schools. No matter what the scholarly reception, Stevenson remains very popular around the world. According to one index, Stevenson ranks the 28th most translated author in the world, beating out even Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe. So it goes that an author's popularity swings back and forth, generation after generation, like a pendulum, as a new crop of readers discover their work.

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jennifer evans

January 03, 2014

i cant keep intrested in it but you guys say it gets intresting so ill keep trying


Aaron Tilley

November 01, 2013



Douglas Chetcuti

June 10, 2013

Gets interesting towards the end.


Iah Cra

May 08, 2013

Beware what you kill. It may not suffice a single killing.


Oran Fluharty

January 30, 2013

I didn't understand who was who.


Caroline Clough

January 01, 2013

I like the suttle spookieness of it. It is quite boring towards the beginning but do not give up on it!


Mr. Grey

July 29, 2012

I do this sometimes.


Carolyn Gray

July 29, 2012

Great Read


Nicki Hale

January 24, 2012