Publisher description for Victorian demons : medicine, masculinity, and the Gothic at the fin-de-siŠecle / Andrew Smith.
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Victorian Demons provides the first extensive exploration of largely middle-class masculinities in crisis at the fin de siecle. 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.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: English literature 19th century History and criticism, Medicine in literature, Literature and medicine Great Britain History 19th century, Gothic revival (Literature) Great Britain, Masculinity in literature, Demonology in literature, Diseases in literature, Men in literature