(Eugenic) Utopias: National Future and Individual Suffering

  • Monika Pietrzak-Franger
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


This chapter addresses the issue of civic duties with reference to the modes in which the figures of the syphilitic child and the syphilitic insane were used in discussions concerning the future of the British nation and the British Empire. Paradoxically, it argues, these figures of fear, which populated late nineteenth century novels and persistently reappeared in the European visual idiom, deflected popular attention away from the pain and suffering of syphilis victims. In contrast, documents produced by Victorian asylumdom openly addressed the suffering and care provision for syphilis patients and thus complicated the visibility of the disease and its cultural exegesis.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monika Pietrzak-Franger
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Anglistik und AmerikanistikUniversität HamburgHamburgGermany

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