The True History of the Elephant Man by Michael Howell

The True History of the Elephant ManThe True History of the Elephant Man by Michael Howell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well-written and well structured as a book. Far kinder than the only other book I’ve read on Joseph Merrick (which, I think, was from the point of view of the doctor, and rather distasteful if memory serves.)

I am, as ever with these sorts of stories, torn between morbid fascination and my own sense of unease at having that kind of fascination at all. One cannot quite escape the feeling that we are still keeping poor Merrick trapped in a perpetual freakshow, but one that is literary rather than physical.

And maybe that’s part of its point.

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