And I've also turned to some source materials for this book -- a historical -- just to make sure I don't completely flub the details. Like giving my cowboy an iPod or something. Would have made life in the saddle a lot more bearable, that's for sure.
Anyway, I swear I was only going to read the chapter on gunshots, but god. God, I just couldn't stop. Here, for your edification, are some things I learned from the Student's Hand-Book of Forensic Medicine and Medical Police. 1883.
1. Chimney sweeps are prone to cancer of the testicles.
My thoughts: WHY? Also, I will never be able to watch the dancing chimney sweeps in Mary Poppins without thinking, "Oh, those poor, sad men."
|Tragic. Just tragic.|
My thoughts: I'll kill you all as soon as I can get out of this straightjacket.
3. In Scotland, carnal knowledge of a girl under twelve is considered rape whether or not the girl consents. In England, the carnal knowledge of a child under ten is a felony, between ten and twelve a misdemeanour, and over twelve the girl may give her consent.
My thoughts: There appears to be no law against the rape of men or boys, or at least none mentioned in this book. In a medical/legal book I was quite surprised to find no mention of it. I mean, consenting or not, sodomy was a crime. And surely doctors must have been called in on occasion to examine defendants or victims.
4. There is a legal and medical distinction between idiocy, cretinism, and imbecility.
My thoughts: Can we make these legal terms again, and can I offer some nominations?
5. Mental disorders may be defined as either intellectual mania or moral mania.
My thoughts: I appear to be guilty of many of the moral ones.
6. Men of literature die younger because they are intemperate and keep strange hours.
My thoughts: There appear to be no women of literature.
7. People dying of strychnine poisoning can feel their seizures coming, and often cry out to be saved.
My thoughts: Well, of course you would.
8. It is illegal to offer to rent a cellar for occupancy unless the ceilings are at least 7 feet high.
My thoughts: The tall Victorian gentleman must have felt very claustrophobic. And that's before you factor in the height of his top hat.
I love old books so much.
Also, I think that if time travel is ever invented, I'd better not go to Victorian England. What with all my moral manias and hysteria, I'd be thrown in an asylum within a week.