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The politics of disease
Andrew Smith

Syphilis was a disease and a metaphor for disease at the fin de siècle , both a medical problem and a trope for social and cultural degeneration. In other words, there was the reality of the disease and a cultural fear of it. That this anxiety was fundamentally cultural is illustrated by how, at the end of the nineteenth century, it was the behaviour of the middle

in Victorian demons
Kristen J. Davis

The following considers Richard Marsh’s 1897 gothic novel The Beetle in relation to fin-de-siècle anxieties, specifically sexual deviancy, empire, and venereal disease. While the domestic Contagious Diseases Acts had been revealed in the 1880s, continued high rates of VD amongst British soldiers in particular continued the debate as to who was responsible for spreading diseases such as syphilis both at home and abroad. At a time of ‘colonial syphiliphobia’, to extend Showalter’s term, The Beetle suggests the necessity of regulating venereal disease in the Empire to protect Britain’s ‘racial superiority’ and conservatively warns against the potential consequences of dabbling with the sexually ‘deviant’ and dangerous Orient.

Gothic Studies
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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.

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To supply the scandalous want of that obvious part
Emily Cock

surgeons, less flattering cultural accounts of swapped body parts ‘unsettle the conviction that transplantation is a shared “dream of humankind”’. 16 I take up the allograft and autograft procedures’ relation to three linked discourses in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: corporal alienability and the attempted commoditisation of another's flesh, shame and the nose's association with the pox (what is generally now understood as syphilis), and what might be understood as ‘body work’ in early modern Britain. Drawing on Marcel Mauss and especially Pierre Bourdieu

in Rhinoplasty and the nose in early modern British medicine and culture
Treatment and prevention of VD
Leanne McCormick

Belfast, this was to be found at the Union Infirmary in Lock Ward 26 for women and Ward 6 for men. While the Irish representatives to the RCVD were at pains to suggest M1854 - McCORMICK TXT.indd 114 18/8/09 16:42:09 Treatment and prevention of VD 115 that VD was virtually unknown in rural Ireland, the death rate from syphilis for Dublin was an issue of concern for the Commission. The death rate per 10,000 was 0.76 for London and 0.51 for Belfast, whereas the death rate for Dublin was 1.4. It was argued, by the Irish representatives, that the high rate was not a

in Regulating sexuality
Tommy Dickinson

participation in aversion therapy. Nurses’ participation in medical experiments: a comparison with the Tuskegee syphilis study Although there had been some success treating alcoholics using aversion therapy,43 the use of this therapy to treat sexual deviations was very experimental.44 Besides the compulsory medical experiments conducted in Nazi Germany, arguably one of the most infamous medical experiments in the twentieth century was the case of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. In 1932 the USA Public Health Service (USPHS) commenced an experiment in Macon Country, Alabama

in ‘Curing queers’
Crossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural landscape
Author: Janice Norwood

Victorian touring actresses: Crossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural landscape provides a new perspective on the on- and offstage lives of women working in nineteenth-century theatre, and affirms the central role of touring, both within the United Kingdom and in North America and Australasia. Drawing on extensive archival research, it features a cross-section of neglected performers whose dramatic specialisms range from tragedy to burlesque. Although they were employed as stars in their own time, their contribution to the industry has largely been forgotten. The book’s innovative organisation follows a natural lifecycle, enabling a detailed examination of the practical challenges and opportunities typically encountered by the actress at each stage of her working life. Individual experiences are scrutinised to highlight the career implications of strategies adopted to cope with the demands of the profession, the physical potential of the actress’s body, and the operation of gendered power on and offstage. Analysis is situated in a wide contextual framework and reveals how reception and success depended on the performer’s response to the changing political, economic, social and cultural landscape as well as to developments in professional practice and organisation. The book concludes with discussion of the legacies of the performers, linking their experiences to the present-day situation.

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Andrew Smith

theories of degeneration, sexological writings, and medical writing on syphilis at the time, it is possible to see how such a pathologisation of the ostensibly dominant masculine scripts becomes developed in scientific, quasi-scientific, and literary contexts. Gender and the fin de siècle It has become somewhat of a commonplace to argue that the fin de siècle was

in Victorian demons
Disciplining indecency and sodomy in the Edwardian fleet
Mary Conley

sodomitical practices would enervate the fleet whether in terms of discipline or disease. Often, the detection of a venereal disease was enough to warrant an investigation. On 18 January 1902, Admiral Charles Hotham, Commander-in-Chief of the Portsmouth Station after consultation with Captain Edward H. Gamble, the Inspecting Captain of Boys Training Ships, called a court of inquiry to investigate the unusual cases of three naval boys who had recently been treated at Haslar Hospital for syphilis.8 Five days earlier the Fleet Surgeon had first reported to the Inspector

in A new naval history
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Jane M. Adams

and balneology were accepted as part of orthodox therapeutics by the 1890s. Hydropathy continued to be used by unorthodox healers too and by the 1920s was incorporated within the armoury of drugless methods used by naturopaths.1 Water cures were also promoted as suitable for use in domestic healing in health manuals aimed at the lay healer.2 The opportunity to integrate treatment within a wider regimen of rest and recuperation was fundamental to the perceived benefits of water cures. In 1900 F. Parkes Weber argued that patients undergoing treatment for syphilis with

in Healing with water