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July 30, 2014 | History

Gender, sexuality, and syphilis in early modern Venice 1 edition

Gender, sexuality, and syphilis in early modern Venice
Laura J. McGough

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Gender, sexuality, and syphilis in early modern Venice
the disease that came to stay
Laura J. McGough

Published 2011 by Palgrave Macmillan in Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire [England], New York, NY .
Written in English.

About the Book

This provocative book questions the assumption that syphilis (the 'French disease') became widespread in Venice because of its legendary courtesans. Using new evidence, Laura McGough reconstructs the city's sexual networks, revealing a society where sexual relations linked people of different classes, neighbourhoods and occupations. Venice's restrictive marriage customs, its role as a centre of migration, and fears of male sexual impotence brought about a sexual culture that fostered the spread of disease. To prevent the spread of disease, Venetian authorities focused on a single target: beautiful young women and girls, who were encouraged to enter walled asylums to protect their chastity. Both medical authorities and the public believed this 'routine disease' could be treated and cured: only cases that did not respond to treatment aroused suspicions that the illness was caused by witchcraft. Gender, Sexuality and Syphilis in Early Modern Venice thereby explores the medical, social, and cultural transitions that occur as a disease comes to be regarded as routine and widespread.

Table of Contents

A network of lovers: sexuality and disease patterns in early modern Venice
The suspected culprits: dangerously beautiful prostitutes and debauched men
Stigma reinforced: the problem of incurable cases of a curable disease
Gender and institutions: hospitals and female asylums.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (p. 182-198) and index.

Early modern history : society and culture, Early modern history (Palgrave Macmillan (Firm))


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
RC201.4 .M34 2011

The Physical Object

x, 202 p. :
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