The Resurrectionist is a hidden gem of dark academia by E.B. Hudspeth. The Resurrectionist describes the life and works of Dr. Spencer Black, a fictional anatomist and surgeon who worked in Philadelphia in the late 19th century. Dr. Black’s work is based on the hypothesis that mythological creatures such as sphinxes, sirens, satyrs, etc., served as evolutionary ancestors of modern human beings. Dr. Black’s studies involved surgical modifications of humans and animals to reconstruct these long-lost anatomies.
The Resurrectionist is divided into two parts. The first part is an academic biography of the life of Dr. Spencer Black. We follow Dr. Black from his formative childhood years through his early career when he first developed his hypothesis and started conducting his experiments. Of course, his work proved to be highly controversial. Dr. Black was rejected from the mainstream scientific community and instead made his career on the carnival circuit, the perfect venue for showing off his resurrected mythological beasts.
The second part of The Resurrectionist is a replica of Dr. Black’s lost volume, The Codex Extinct Animalia, which details the taxonomy and muscular-skeletal anatomies of mythological beasts, including the sphinx, siren, satyr, minotaur, pegasus, centaur, dragon, and more. Each of these species has a large set of beautifully detailed plates showing their muscular and skeletal structures, all fully labeled with taxonomic information as in a genuine anatomy book.
The Resurrectionist is the debut novel from E.B. Hudspeth, who is both an artist and a writer. This book is highly original, despite the obvious influence from The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells. All of the illustrations are beautifully detailed. The published book mimics the experience of a real academic textbook with its oversized dimensions, high quality printing, and even an acknowledgement to the Philadelphia Museum of Medical Antiquities for financial support. The author and the publisher have paid great attention to all the small details that give this book an authentic scholarly feel.
Overall, The Resurrectionist is a four-star book. The best feature of this volume is the artwork (five stars). The biography of Dr. Black is somewhat less compelling (three stars) and suffers, perhaps, from being a bit too academic. But this book is obviously a labor of love, and the artwork alone makes it a highly worthwhile and interesting read.
If you are looking for dark academia or a beautifully illustrated volume of mythical bestial anatomies, The Resurrectionist by E.B. Hudspeth is the real deal.