Bloeming-Typhoidtein: Epidemic Jingoism and the Typhoid Corpse in South Africa

  • Jacob Steere-Williams
Part of the Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Modern History book series (MBSMH)


Steere-Williams examines the largest recorded outbreak of typhoid fever in modern British history, during the South African War (1899–1902). Analyzing contemporary works in military medicine and bacteriology, as well as texts in imperial gothic literature and parliamentary debates, the chapter explores the way that the sick typhoid body and the typhoid corpse were at the center of the lived experience of the military conflict, but also served as proxies for a critique of the British Empire. Steere-Williams argues that the typhoid epidemic and the fear of the typhoid corpse both threatened cultural notions of British masculinity and led to nascently ecological fears of the spread of infectious disease in the environment.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of CharlestonCharlestonUSA

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