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Syphilis in Shakespeare's England
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The emergence of syphilis at the end of the 15th century, had a profound effect on the history of Western civilization during the Renaissance. Working from primary sources, the author shows how syphilis spread across England, what its effects were, the range of cures used, and what preventive measures were taken against it. He shows how syphilis brought about a profound change of manners and morals during the Renaissance, leading to an emphasis on monogamy, premarital chastity and absolute fidelity within marriage. He suggests that, in many ways, syphilis presents a paradigm for our latest venereal epidemic becaouse of the numerous parallels between syphilis and AIDS. Fabricius' other publications include "Alchemy: The Medieval Alchemists and Their Royal Art" (1976), and "Shakespeare's Hidden World: A Study of His Unconscious" (1989).
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Table of Contents

Acknoledgements. Illustrations. Preface. 1. The Sinister Shepherd. 2. Wonder Drugs for the Pox. 3. England and the Pox. 4. An Age of Upheaval. 5. Chroniclers of Syphilis and Prostitution. 6. Prostitution in England. 7. High-Risk Groups. 8. The Promiscuous City and Its Stage Representation. 9. Shakespeare and His Circle. 10. Shakespeare's Unconscious Imagery. 11. Shakespeare's Mid-Life Crisis. 12. The Dangerous Infirmity of Burning. 13. Conclusion. Bilbliography. Index.

About the Author

Johannes Fabricius, noted author and scholar, is a lecturer and teacher at various Danish colleges of education and is also a Research Fellow at the Department for the Study of the History of Medicine at the University of Copenhagen. He has published a number of books on depth psychology, literature and history, including Alchemy: The Medieval Alchemists and Their Royal Art (1976) and Shakespeare's Hidden World: A Study of His Unconscious (1989).

Reviews

The book begins with an excellent survey of the rise of the disease on the Continent, its spread to Britain and of the medical profession's efforts to cure it... Fabricius examines the evidence for the arrival of the disease in Britain, the social conditions which were conducive to its spreading, and the measures taken to combat it...one of the virtues of Fabricius's book is the sheer breadth of his approach, examining the issues in the wider context of the work of other writers of the period, medical literature and other legislative measures... Clearly there is stuff here to fuel prolonged debate. -- Times Literary Supplement

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