Introduction
in Victorian demons
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book argues that the final decades of the nineteenth century provide a particularly complex set of examples of how the dominant masculine scripts came to be associated with disease, degeneration and perversity. It outlines theories of degeneracy and how they relate to masculinity. The book charts an alternative British tradition of degeneracy which is developed in the work of Samuel Smiles, as this British context provides a more immediate background to the case histories. It presents a close reading of Sir Frederick Treves's Reminiscences. Treves's memoirs focus on the issues confronted by doctors working in the late Victorian period. The book examines how, and why, the Gothic frequently states the case, as in Bram Stoker's Dracula for example, for the need to re-establish a link between gender and sex.

Victorian demons

Medicine, masculinity and the Gothic at the fin de siecle

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