Faces of Degeneration: A European Disorder, C.1848-1918
This book investigates the specific conception and descent of a language of "degeneration" from 1848 to 1918, with particular reference to France, Italy, and England. The author shows how in the refraction and wake of evolution and naturalism, new images and theories of atavism, "dégénérescence" and socio-biological decline emerged in European culture and politics. He indicates the wide cultural and political importance of the idea of degeneration, while showing that the notion could mean different things at different times in different places. Exploring the distinctive historical and discursive contexts in France, Italy, and England within which the idea was developed, the book traces the profound complex of political issues to which the concept of degeneration gave rise during the period from the revolutions of 1848 to the First World War and beyond.
What people are saying - Write a review
amongst anarchism argued atavism biological body Buchez century Cesare Lombroso civilisation classes classical conception contemporary context cretinism crime criminal anthropology criminology crisis critique crowd culture danger Darwin death debate decadence decline degener degeneracy degenerescence discourse discussion disease disorder diss doctor Dracula England English Enrico Ferri eugenics European Ferri France Francis Galton French Freud Galton Havelock Ellis Henry Maudsley hereditarian hereditary heredity human idea individual inheritance insanity insisted instance intellectual Italian Italy La sonnambula language of degeneration late-nineteenth-century liberal Lombrosian Lombroso London madness Maudsley Maudsley's medicine mental modern moral morbid Morel nature Nazism nineteenth nineteenth-century Nordau novel organic pathology phrenology physical physiognomy political population positivism positivist problem progress psychiatry question race racial regression reproduction Revolution scientific sexual Sighele social Social Darwinism society Sorel specific suggest Taine theory of degeneration trace Victorian whilst wider women writing Zola Zola's