Degeneration, masculinity, nationhood and the Gothic
in Victorian demons
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Daniel Pick's authoritative study of theories of degeneration and their historical contexts, Faces of Degeneration charts the development of such theories from the 1840s to the end of the First World War. David Punter has noted how Gothic narratives such as Dracula and Jekyll and Hyde indicate the presence of an anxiety about colonial decline. The analysis of Dracula and Jekyll and Hyde addresses the permeability that existed between fictional, and supposedly 'scientific' notions of the unstable, often hybrid, male subject. The chapter explores how the following British commentators responded to some of the ideas about masculinity and nation: Samuel Smiles, Charles Kingsley, Edwin Lankester and Otto Weininger. Siobhan B. Somerville argues that in sexology racial identifications were mapped on to sexual orientation. This was done so that the 'blackness' or 'whiteness' of a subject was correlated to the levels masculinity or femininity exhibited by the subject.

Victorian demons

Medicine, masculinity and the Gothic at the fin de siecle

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