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Journalism, Gothic London and the medical gaze
Andrew Smith

London lies today under the spell of a great terror. A nameless reprobate – half-beast, half-man – is at large, who is daily gratifying his murderous instincts on the most miserable and defenceless of classes of the community. There can be no shadow of a doubt that … the Whitechapel murderer, who

in Victorian demons
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Medicine, masculinity and the Gothic at the fin de siecle
Author: Andrew Smith

This book is a study of constructions of masculinity in a range of medical, cultural and Gothic narratives at the fin de siecle. 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. The book first outlines the theories of degeneracy, explaining how they relate to masculinity. It then charts an alternative British tradition of degeneracy as this British context provides a more immediate background to the case histories that follow. The book 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 Whitechapel murders of 1888 are then discussed. The book focuses on how and why the medical profession became implicated in the murders. The murders also suggested the presence of a demonic, criminalised form of masculine control over the East End. Continuing with its focus on medicine, the book discusses medical textbooks on syphilis in the 1880s and how they responded to a shift in attitude towards attributing responsibility for the spread of syphilis. An examination of how London appears as a gendered space in the work of male authors such as Thomas De Quincey, and Charles Dickens, and later Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker, is presented. Finally, some aspects of Oscar Wilde's trials are also examined as well as a range of his writings.

The collapse of reason and sanity in Alan Moore’s From Hell
Monica Germanà

Whitechapel murders. Jack the Ripper, as is well known, takes his name from the ‘Dear Boss’ letter – likely to have been written by a journalist – received by the Central News Agency on 27 September 1888. The sensationalist response to the murders raised questions about the effects on the general public of such an uncontrollable proliferation of theories, accusations and, most

in Alan Moore and the Gothic Tradition
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An East End apocalypse
Brian Baker

Haunted places are the only ones people can live in. (Michel de Certeau) 1 Sinclair’s first novel, White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings (1987, cited edition 1988), draws upon the events of the autumn of 1888, the ‘Whitechapel Murders’ of Jack the Ripper. It is also a consciously intertextual novel, drawing upon (amongst other things) Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories (particularly A Study in Scarlet ). It completes the first ‘triad’ of texts ( Lud Heat

in Iain Sinclair
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Andrew Smith

generated some uncomfortable truths. As we saw in the case of the Whitechapel murders, one of the peculiarities was that a medical gaze seemingly encountered itself in the guise of a murderous autopsy. Also, as Treves’s account of Merrick testifies, the anxiety was that the ‘normal’ and the ‘abnormal’ could become conflated and so implicate medicine as the producers of pathology (as we saw in ‘A Cure for

in Victorian demons
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Andrew Smith

the bourgeois professional. In this way the normative becomes demonised, while in the figure of Hyde, who at some level represents a distorted model of the ‘gentleman’, the deviant becomes normalised. This specific critique of the middle class is also, as we shall see, reflected in medical textbooks on syphilis and permeates newspaper speculation that the Whitechapel murderer could have been an

in Victorian demons
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Richard Marsh and late Victorian journalism
Nick Freeman

who was moved to complain that during the time of the Whitechapel murders, women in the West End were being terrified by ‘hoarse ruffians … yelling at the tops of their hideous voices’ about murder and mutilation.11 Many readers climbed no higher up the cultural ladder than the IPN, but its readership transcended class barriers, with seemingly genteel consumers of the journal tucking its pink pages into copies of the Pall Mall Gazette, the paper that had denounced it as ‘the worst newspaper in England’ in 1886. Movement between ostensibly ‘respectable’ and ‘lowbrow

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
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The politics of disease
Andrew Smith

purpose’. 7 The use of melodrama in the cause of repeal was not just an eccentric quirk of Butler’s. In Chapter 3 we saw how Jekyll and Hyde was influential in directing discussion of the Whitechapel murders. In addition, as we saw in Chapter 2 , Treves also used fictional devices in order to illustrate what were, at some level, medical case histories. This relationship between narrative and

in Victorian demons
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Marie Mulvey-Roberts

’s Whitechapel murder victims, it was how ‘a medical gaze seemingly encountered itself in the guise of a murderous autopsy’. 14 For Frederick Treves, the physician of the Elephant Man, John Merrick, there was the fear that medicine and its practitioners had become implicated in the production of pathology rather than serving as guardians of health. The collection of dangerous bodies in this book will be

in Dangerous bodies
Brian Baker

point of entry’ to a ‘utopian not-yet’, suicide becoming an act of willed transcendence (and perhaps re-birth), echoing the terms of R. D. Laing’s ‘willed self-liberation’ we encountered in the Introduction. 75 Suicide and sacrifice are connected in Suicide Bridge and elsewhere in Sinclair’s work, but most importantly for Sinclair, of course, are the ‘sacrificial’ victims of the Whitechapel murders of 1888. We will consider this in more detail in the next chapter. In Suicide Bridge , it is willed self-destruction, however, rather than the sacrifice of others that

in Iain Sinclair