Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Male Body in Medicine and Literature$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Andrew Mangham and Daniel Lea

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940520

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786940520.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Syphilis and Sociability

Syphilis and Sociability

The Impolite Bodies of Two Gentlemen, James Boswell (1740–1795) and Sylas Neville (1741–1840)

(p.177) Chapter Ten Syphilis and Sociability
The Male Body in Medicine and Literature

Leigh Wetherall-Dickson

Liverpool University Press

This essay considers the stain on one’s position within civil society represented by venereal disease. Drawing on the diaries of Boswell – for whom regular doses of syphilis seem to have been regarded as an amatory hazard – and Neville, the essay explores the increasing prominence and importance of the sphere of sociable intercourse in the eighteenth century, which necessitates, for Boswell at least, a clear division between his private selfhood and conduct and his public demeanour. In contrast, Neville’s episodes of the pox seem to have exacerbated his incipient paranoia and annoyance with a world around him that refuses to acknowledge his gentlemanly qualities. Both men’s reaction to their condition as related through their diaries reveals for Leigh Wetherall-Dickson a shifting notion of private identity formed in response to the relatively new phenomenon of sociable intercourse.

Keywords:   Venereal disease, Male body, Social history, Eighteenth Century Literature

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.