Les Mains d'Orlac  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

(Redirected from The Hands of Orlac)
Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Les Mains d'Orlac (The Hands of Orlac) is a is a novel of the fantastique by the French writer Maurice Renard, first published in 1920. It is an early example of the body horror theme in fiction.


In the novel, the pianist Stephen Orlac suffers a railway accident that gives him serious head injuries and deprives him of his hands. The famous and controversial transplant doctor Cerral gives him new hands, transplanted from a freshly guillotined assassin. Afterward, Orlac begins to wonder if he has become a Mr. Hyde who has inherited the criminal proclivities of his donor via his hands.

He seems to suffer from hallucinations and sinks into depression. His wife attempts to save him, but the couple is caught in a spiral of conspiracy, mystery and crime.


The story has been adapted into film and television many times, with notable adaptations including:

The story was also an inspiration for the 1976 Doctor Who serial The Hand of Fear.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Les Mains d'Orlac" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools