Victorian demons

Medicine, masculinity, and the Gothic at the fin-de-siècle

By Andrew Smith

Victorian demons

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-6357-2
  • Pages: 200
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: March 2004
  • BIC Category: Literature, Literary theory, Anthologies: general, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Men's Studies, LITERARY COLLECTIONS / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Society & social sciences / Gender studies: men, Literature & literary studies / Literary theory


Victorian demons provides the first extensive exploration of largely middle-class masculinities in crisis at the fin de siècle. It analyses how ostensibly controlling models of masculinity became demonised in a variety of literary and medical contexts, revealing the period to be much more ideologically complex than has hitherto been understood, and makes a significant contribution to Gothic scholarship.

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, destabilising these apparently dominant masculine scripts. He provides a coherent 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.


Chapter 1 Degeneration, masculinity, nationhood and the Gothic
Chapter 2 Pathologising the Gothic: The Elephant Man, the hysteric, the Indian and the doctor
Chapter 3 The Whitechapel murders: Journalism, Gothic London, and the medical gaze
Chapter 4 Reading syphilis: The politics of disease
Chapter 5 Displacing masculinity: Sherlock Holmes, Count Dracula, and London
Chapter 6 Performing masculinity: Wilde's art


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

Sign up to our newsletter
and receive 30% off all future book orders

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout