Displacing masculinity
Sherlock Holmes, Count Dracula and London
in Victorian demons
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This chapter explores how gender issues have influenced the way that London has been read. This helps to locate the Sherlock Holmes tales within a certain cultural narrative, spanning the nineteenth century, of male readings of the city. The chapter moves beyond simply addressing the link between rationality and masculinity in order to explore an alternative, but related drama, which concerns the status and function of London. It also explores Thomas De Quincey's nightmares of London and his construction of an urban sublimity before briefly exploring Charles Dickens's attempt to impose rationality on such threatened urban discord in Bleak House. The chapter examines how Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White stages a debate about gender, identity and the city. Dracula produces a fantasy of a purified London and a purified, non-degenerate masculinity which in the end it does not quite believe in.

Victorian demons

Medicine, masculinity and the Gothic at the fin de siecle


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