Dr Frank Stein
Dr Frank Stein is a German physician and surgeon in his late 20s. His father was a prosperous merchant, but the family fell upon hard times when the senior Stein died. Frank was then only 19. While his older brother Joseph tried to resurrect the family business, Frank, the second son, took up an apprenticeship with Dr Johannes Muller of Berlin University. Upon Dr Muller’s request, Dr Stein travelled with Dr Muller to St Bartholemew’s hospital near London city to treat patients suffering from infectious diseases. It was at this time, that Dr Stein, keenly moved by the pathetic conditions of the London slum-dwellers, began to treat them free of charge. Later, he set up his own consultation in London where he treated the society ladies and gentlemen, and became quite well-known, but continued to treat the poor for free. Unfortunately, Dr Stein contracted typhus from one of his patients and had to take a sabbatical to recover. While he is now fully recovered, he remains weak. A physician friend has suggested the clean air and lively company of Tyrehampton, so he is shortly to arrive at Mrs Hatch’s parlour. He hopes to use this time to continue his research of human anatomy and life sciences.
A note on Dr Frank N. Stein's deeper motivations:
While practising at St Bart's, Dr Stein met a slave trader by the name of Brannon, in a deliriously feverish state who was convinced that his situation had been brought upon by a curse from a voodoo master and former slave. Among other things, Mr Brannon spoke of the voodoo master's supernatural skills, including reanimating the dead, and reattaching severed limbs. Mr Brannon was diagnosed with yellow fever and eventually succumbed to it at St Bart's, for which, Dr Stein could not say he was overly pained; yet Mr Brannon's story about the voodoo master sowed the seeds of a thought. Was it possible to medically reattach limbs - not as dead weight which would become infectious and gangrenous - but as a living part of the human body - to effectively reanimate it?
He had seen the body move after death, a phenomenon which the French physiology Nysten had described as rigor mortis, a physiological phenomenon. He read Luigi Galvani’s paper on bioelectricity, which studied the electrical patterns in tissues, nerves and muscles. He was also intrigued by the new science of electricity and the experiments conducted with electrostatic generators. Books on natural philosophy and alchemy by Albertus Magus, Arippa, and Pararcelsus inspired him to experiment with natural herbs and minerals. Was it, in fact, possible to discover a potent mix that could reanimate a deceased body, or stave off death entirely?
Dr Stein’s colleagues have noticed the change in him since his illness. Some blame his recent obsession on the overuse of mercury and antimony to treat him for typhus. They claim mercury poisoning has led to erethism - a constellation of irritability, excitability, anxiety, insomnia, and social withdrawal. While Dr Stein is known to keep late hours and is man who rarely goes into society, perhaps his interest in immortality has more to do with his own brush with death, and is therefore more philosophical than medical in nature.
At present Dr Frank N. Stein is preoccupied with finding lodgings which can accommodate his equipment, and provide the solitude he requires for deep contemplation and reflection.
((Johannes Muller was actually a German physiologist from the early 1800s. I suppose we're all taking inspiration from history. 🙂 My Dr Muller is not a character in-game (just part of Dr Stein's background info), so it would be lovely to have Johannes Muller the composer in Tyrehampton again. We could always do with some music.))