The Anatomist



  • A play by James Bridie that established his reputationas a dramatist when it was produced in 1930, first in Edinburgh andthen at the Westminster Theatre, London. Bridie was actually Dr OsborneHenry Mavor, a Scottish physician; his plot is based on the true storyof the Scottish anatomist, Dr Robert Knox, who conspired with thebody snatchers Burke and Hare to obtain cadavers for dissection. Inthe play, Burke murders a disreputable woman whose corpse is recognizedon the dissection table by Knox's assistant. He is disturbed by theanatomist's unconcern about how the bodies are obtained. When Hareturns King's Evidence, Burke is convicted of the murder and hanged.Knox is implicated and flees but is eventually rescued by his students.