Victorian Demons: Medicine, Masculinity, and the Gothic at the Fin-de-siècle

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Manchester University Press, Sep 4, 2004 - Literary Collections - 191 pages
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Victorian Demons provides the first extensive exploration of largely middle-class masculinities in crisis at the fin de siècle. It analyzes how ostensibly controlling models of masculinity became demonized in a variety of literary and medical contexts, revealing the period to be much more ideologically complex than has hitherto been understood. Andrew Smith demonstrates how a Gothic language of monstrosity, drawn from narratives such as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Dracula, increasingly influenced a range of medical and cultural contexts, destabilizing these apparently dominant masculine scripts. He provides a concise analysis of a range of examples relating to masculinity drawn from literary, medical, legal and sociological contexts, including Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man), the Whitechapel murders of 1888, Sherlock Holmes's London, the writings and trials of Oscar Wilde, theories of degeneration and medical textbooks on syphilis.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgements page
1
Degeneration masculinity nationhood and the Gothic
14
the Elephant Man the Hysteric
45
journalism Gothic London and
67
the politics of disease
95
Sherlock Holmes Count Dracula
118
Wildes Art
150
Conclusion
177
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About the author (2004)

Andrew Smith is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Glamorgan.

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