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Vesalius, Andreas. Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) was the author of the landmark work on human anatomy, De Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543) and is regarded as the founder of modern anatomy. In 1915 he appeared in Robert Wason’s “The Man Who Never Died” (Physical Culture, Sept. 1915-Mar. 1916).
Wason’s Andreas Vesalius is a Superhuman Evil Surgeon. In a remote compound in the Adirondacks a young woman, Amorio, has been raised in isolation from modern culture. Her “father,” the handsome young Andreas, has instead raised her according to the ideals of ancient Greece, with the intent that he and she will be mates. But when an airplane accidentally drops a French book into the compound, its ideas begin to corrupt Amorio, and she becomes attracted to the aviator who dropped the book, as he falls in love with her. Amorio nonetheless decides to accept Andreas as a mate, but he reveals that he is actually Andreas Vesalius, who made himself immortal with the transplant of organs, especially ductless glands, sometimes from children.
Amorio and Andreas mate and have a child, but when the child is three months’ old Andreas’ servants revolt. Andreas is wounded and quickly dwindles and becomes a shrunken, ancient man. He demands that Amorio give him their child so that he can uses its glands to save his life. Amorio is horrified and leaves him. He appears later, his body having regenerated on its own, but she cannot forgive him until, in a later struggle with his servants he shows himself willing to sacrifice himself for Amorio and the child. They escape from the servants and live Happily Ever After.
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