Cover image for The secret malady : venereal disease in eighteenth-century Britain and France
Title:
The secret malady : venereal disease in eighteenth-century Britain and France
Author:
Merians, Linda Evi.
Publication Information:
Lexington, K.Y. : University Press of Kentucky, [1996]

©1996
Physical Description:
269 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780813119892

9780813108889
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library RC201.6.G7 S43 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Venereal disease existed in epidemical proportions in 18th-century France and Britain. Initially regarded as the subject for jokes and boasts of Restoration promiscuity, its prevalence as the century wore on forced people to take it seriously. Linda Merians offers a detailed study of the disease.


Summary

Venereal disease existed in epidemical proportions in 18th-century France and Britain. Initially regarded as the subject for jokes and boasts of Restoration promiscuity, its prevalence as the century wore on forced people to take it seriously. Linda Merians offers a detailed study of the disease.


Reviews 4

Library Journal Review

In the 18th century, as today, venereal disease (VD) was not discussed in polite company. Yet syphilis and other diseases reached epidemic proportions and affected every level of society. This book looks closely at the historical context of VD, including its impact on society's perception of women and marriage and its effect on children. It also examines medical treatments of the period. The second half of the book reviews the social and cultural aspects of VD, e.g., Betty Rizzo's essay considers the social decorum used to discuss VD and includes some very interesting examples of society's sexual biases in its regard. Other chapters look at literary and artistic representations of VD. This is an excellent collection of essays made all the more relevant by the AIDS crisis today. However, the reader looking for a broader historical review of VD should consult J.D. Oriel's Scars of Venus (Springer-Verlag, 1994). For academic collections.‘Eric D. Albright, Galter Health Sciences Lib., Northwestern Univ., Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Venereal diseases through history have been pervasive, affecting men, women, and children alike, creating "innocent casualties" then as AIDS does today. The essays in this book address various questions, including perceptions of etiology, treatment, competing claims among practitioners proffering "cures," institutional responses, and literary and private perceptions of the "secret malady" that insinuated itself into every walk of life. Newspapers featured advertisements for purported cures, treatment retreats sprouted, and toward the end of the century, with fuller acknowledgment of the public health crisis that venereal disease presented, specialty hospitals were established to bring social control to the epidemic. Venereal diseases swept through a century that proved a transition in the way in which sexuality was regarded in England and France. Many of the essays contrast the relatively relaxed treatment of sexuality in the early part of the 18th century, tracing a transformation that emerged fully in the 19th century, when sexuality became a taboo subject and the idealization of maternity contrasted with the "contaminated" prostitute, blamed for social degeneration and deterioration. Fascinating reading. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. P. Brickman United States Merchant Marine Academy


Library Journal Review

In the 18th century, as today, venereal disease (VD) was not discussed in polite company. Yet syphilis and other diseases reached epidemic proportions and affected every level of society. This book looks closely at the historical context of VD, including its impact on society's perception of women and marriage and its effect on children. It also examines medical treatments of the period. The second half of the book reviews the social and cultural aspects of VD, e.g., Betty Rizzo's essay considers the social decorum used to discuss VD and includes some very interesting examples of society's sexual biases in its regard. Other chapters look at literary and artistic representations of VD. This is an excellent collection of essays made all the more relevant by the AIDS crisis today. However, the reader looking for a broader historical review of VD should consult J.D. Oriel's Scars of Venus (Springer-Verlag, 1994). For academic collections.‘Eric D. Albright, Galter Health Sciences Lib., Northwestern Univ., Chicago (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Venereal diseases through history have been pervasive, affecting men, women, and children alike, creating "innocent casualties" then as AIDS does today. The essays in this book address various questions, including perceptions of etiology, treatment, competing claims among practitioners proffering "cures," institutional responses, and literary and private perceptions of the "secret malady" that insinuated itself into every walk of life. Newspapers featured advertisements for purported cures, treatment retreats sprouted, and toward the end of the century, with fuller acknowledgment of the public health crisis that venereal disease presented, specialty hospitals were established to bring social control to the epidemic. Venereal diseases swept through a century that proved a transition in the way in which sexuality was regarded in England and France. Many of the essays contrast the relatively relaxed treatment of sexuality in the early part of the 18th century, tracing a transformation that emerged fully in the 19th century, when sexuality became a taboo subject and the idealization of maternity contrasted with the "contaminated" prostitute, blamed for social degeneration and deterioration. Fascinating reading. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. P. Brickman United States Merchant Marine Academy


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