'Poor Things' is the perfect example of how Gray understands the power of the medium he works in. Just as two poets could destroy the Eastern Empire in 'Unlikely Stories, Mostly', Gray playfully toys with the reader's perception of reality and truth and how it is influenced by the media. Rather than being the author of Poor Things, Gray purports to be merely an editor, who has discovered a manuscript and letter, which he presents for the reader's examination. His personae in this instance implies that the novel has been 'received' rather than 'created'. This lends the rather bizarre proceedings a strange air of credibility, and stops the reader pondering over the likelihood of some of the more extraordinary events occurring. For example, Baxter's "skeely, skeely fingers" performing the "skilfully manipulated resurrection" of a young woman is the stuff of fairy tales, but due to Gray's web of fibs, it is understood as a rational medical discovery rather than a magical act. The main body of the book is presented as a first-person narrative, written by one Archibald McCandless. In it, he describes how an eccentric friend creates a woman from a dead body, in the manner of Baron Frankenstein. However, a letter accompanying the narrative (according to Gray) states that it is little more than a pack of lies. The letter has been written by the very woman who the narrative covered. On top of this confusion, Gray has annotated and analysed the text, and professes to believe the original narrative as true. In this fashion, the novel is as 'stitched together' as Bella herself, every 'fact' seems to be contradicted later, true history is marred by pure fiction, almost making it impossible to separate truth from falsehood. From the very beginning of the novel, the reader is confronted by colliding facts, and must make a choice as to who he or she believes: Archibald or Victoria. Because the choice has to be made between the two characters, Gray's own 'facts' are never brought into doubt. Even the erratum slip in the endpapers adds unnecessary confusion to the proceedings, stating: "The etching on page 187 does not portray Professor Jean Martin Charcot, but Count Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac." Apart from the fact that the accuracy of this one etching has little if no effect on the reader's perception of the novel, Gray has once again abused the power that has been vested in him by creating unnecessary confusion. If Gray himself was responsible for the illustrations, would he choose to draw the wrong character deliberately, or would he draw the correct one but deliberately try to mislead the readers with an erratum slip? Alternatively, is the etching of someone completely different (i.e. neither Charcot or Count Robert)? Whatever the identity of the etched man, to mislead the reader in this way would be entirely pointless. Therefore, the only rational answer is that the illustrations were done by William Strang and Gray is indeed only the editor. In this fashion, Gray leads the reader to ridiculous conclusions throughout the novel. Another example of this trickery can be found in the medical terminology used within the novel. When describing Bella being shot in the foot by Blessington, McCandless states that the bullet had punctured "the integument between the ulna and radius of the second and third metacarpals". However, Bella, in her letter, describes this terminology as "blethers, havers, claptrap, gibberish, gobbledegook" and then describes the actual wound as "puncturing the tendon of the oblique head of adductor hallucis between the great and index proximal phalanges without chipping a bone". Unless the reader is aware of medical terms for various parts of the foot, neither sentence makes more sense than the other. Gray is fully aware of the power of the written word, as if he had not brought the statement into question, the great majority of his readers would have accepted it as a sound medical analysis. However, as he takes on the persona of the editor, he has put himself into a position to make the reader aware of this power. In a similar way to the etching, the accuracy of the medical description has no bearing on the novel, but is Gray's way of making the point that what is written cannot be assumed to be fact. Although this may seem rather obvious, if I personally looked back over the multitude of books that I have read, there must have been countless occasions of me blindly accepting a similar statement without a second thought. In this way, Gray has used his persona as editor to provoke thought and contemplation in the reader over the book that they have just read. What better way could Gray have found for his piece of writing to have a lasting effect on its reader? Once again, Gray has hidden the key to the entire novel in the epilogue, on this occasion on pages 274-5 of Victoria's letter. The sentence reads: "If you ignore what contradicts common sense and this letter you will find that this book records some actual events during a dismal era... it is as sham-gothic as the Scott Monument". Gray fully realises that his novel is fantastical and the period in which it is set is outwith his own experience. However, Poor Things is the kind of novel which, when read for a second time, offers the reader a whole new perspective on the goings-on and Gray is actively encouraging his readership to do this. By printing the book in a certain order, each section offers a new perspective on the previous ones, encouraging re-reading.