Leprosy and Empire: A Medical and Cultural History - Cambridge Social and Cultural Histories (Paperback)
  • Leprosy and Empire: A Medical and Cultural History - Cambridge Social and Cultural Histories (Paperback)
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Leprosy and Empire: A Medical and Cultural History - Cambridge Social and Cultural Histories (Paperback)

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£28.99
Paperback 268 Pages / Published: 12/11/2009
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An innovative, interdisciplinary study of why leprosy, a disease with a very low level of infection, has repeatedly provoked revulsion and fear. Rod Edmond explores, in particular, how these reactions were refashioned in the modern colonial period. Beginning as a medical history, the book broadens into an examination of how Britain and its colonies responded to the believed spread of leprosy. Across the empire this involved isolating victims of the disease in 'colonies', often on offshore islands. Discussion of the segregation of lepers is then extended to analogous examples of this practice, which, it is argued, has been an essential part of the repertoire of colonialism in the modern period. The book also examines literary representations of leprosy in Romantic, Victorian and twentieth-century writing, and concludes with a discussion of traveller-writers such as R. L. Stevenson and Graham Greene who described and fictionalised their experience of staying in a leper colony.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521123129
Number of pages: 268
Weight: 400 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'... thoughtful study ... Leprosy and Empire is ... able to offer some subtle but penetrating insights into the place of disease in imperial culture.' Mark Harrison, Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
'The last few decades have seen an impressive number of books on the history of leprosy, and this is a useful addition to the genre. The 'medical' component of the book is excellent ... The book will appeal to students of the history of medicine and to those with an interest in disease as metaphor.' Hugo Ree, Health and History
"Leprosy and Empire traces the history of leprosy stigma between about 1770 and 1920, searching for a 'conflicted genealogy' of leprosy stigma across a broad span of European colonial encounters, from Hawaii to Australia, New Zealand and the Cape, and how these played out in Europe." - Harriet Deacon, H-SAfrica
"Rod Edmond's Leprosy and Empire is very interesting text which puts the history of disease and its management in an easily readable form.... it is well worth reading and is a welcome addition to the history of empire and its administration." - Canadian Journal of History
"Leprosy's complexity and elusiveness to modern medical and cultural analysis is precisely the problem that Edmond successfully... addresses in this book.... The book's strengths are its thorough and thoughtful analyses of literary references to leprosy from the Bible through the works of Romantics like William Blake, Samuel Coleridge, and Mary Shelley to twentieth-century observers who spent time inside leper colonies." - Journal of Interdisciplinary History
`"he last few decades have seen an impressive number of books on the history of leprosy, and this is a useful addition to the genre. The `medical.' component of the book is excellent... The book will appeal to students of the history of medicine and to those with an interest in disease as metaphor." - Hugo Ree, Health & History

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