This collection examines different aspects of attitudes towards disease and death in writing of the long eighteenth century. Taking three conditions as examples – ennui, sexual diseases and infectious diseases – as well as death itself, contri
This collection examines different aspects of attitudes towards disease and death in writing of the long eighteenth century. Taking three conditions as examples - ennui, sexual diseases and infectious diseases - as well as death itself, contributors explore the ways in which writing of the period placed them within a borderland between fashionability and unfashionability, relating them to current social fashions and trends. These essays also look at ways in which diseases were fashioned into bearing cultural, moral, religious and even political meaning. Works of literature are used as evidence, but also medical writings, personal correspondence and diaries. Diseases or conditions subject to scrutiny include syphilis, male impotence, plague, smallpox and consumption. Death, finally, is looked at both in terms of writers constructing meanings within death and of the fashioning of posthumous reputation. Allan Ingram is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Northumbria, UK. He has published widely on eighteenth-century writing, with a particular interest in the relations between literature, medicine, and madness. His works in this field include The Madhouse of Language (1991) and Cultural Constructions of Madness (2005). Between 2006 and 2009 he was Director of the Leverhulme Trust project Before Depression, and was a Co-Director of the Leverhulme project, Fashionable Diseases, of which this volume is one outcome. He has edited Gullivers Travels (2012) and was co-editor of a four-volume set of source material, D epression and Melancholy 1660-1800 (2012). Most recently he co-edited a set of essays, Voice and Context in Eighteenth-Century Poetry (2015). Leigh Wetherall Dickson is Senior Lecturer in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature at Northumbria University, UK. She began her career there as a post-doctoral Research Associate on the Leverhulme-funded Before Depression 1660-1800 project. She has written and published extensively upon the experience of presumed mental disease, and was the co-general editor and volume editor for Depression and Melancholy 1600-1800 (2012). She is now one of the directors of Fashionable Diseases: Medicine, Literature and Culture, ca. 1660-1832, also funded by the Leverhulme Trust for three years. Her current research focusses upon the relationship between fashion, fame, and illness in the long eighteenth century, and is particularly interested in how the pursuit of fame was viewed as a type of contagious disease.