Consumption: The Fashionable Disease of the Self and Its Romantic Allure in Literature
Consumption—Tuberculosis or (TB)—is considered as a peculiarly significant disease across different disciplines. This research traces the medical and literary history of the disease then discusses its aestheticised glamour in a number of writings that date back to the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Before being identified as a lethal disease in the 20th century, consumption was dealt with positively during the preceding periods or eras i.e., being consumptive signified love, easy death, female beauty, male creativity and genius, etc. The specific purpose of this academic endeavour is to answer in detail the questions of why, how and when consumption—as a destructive force— was regarded as a strong cultural device for self-fashioning and what made the perception on the disease shift or alter from positive to negative— from an aestheticised, romantic disease to a deadly one.
Sandgate, 1880-1930. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012. Print.
Barry, Edward. A Treatise on a consumption of the lungs. Dublin: George Grierson. Print.
Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2005. Print.
Browne, Thomas. "A Letter to a Friend, upon the Occasion of the Death of His Intimate Friend." Sir Thomas Browne: Religio Medici and Other Works. Ed. L. C. Martin. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964. Print.
Burke, Edmund. "Sublime and Beautiful." A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. Ed. Adam Phillips. Oxford: OUP, 1990. Print.
Burton, Robert. The Anatomy of Melancholy. Ed. Homas C. Faulkner, Nicolas K. Kiessling, Rhonda L. Blair. Vol. I. Oxford: OUP, 1989. Print.
Byrne, Katherine. Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary Imagination.
Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011. Print.
Carpenter, Mary Wilson. Health, medicine, and Society in Victorian England. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010. Print.
Dormandy, Thomas. The White Death: A History of Tuberculosis. London: Hambledon Press, 1999. Print
Dubos, René and Jean Dubos. The White Plague: Tuberculosis, Man and Society.
London: Lowe and Bydone, 1953. Print.
Gandy, Mathew. "Life without Germs: Contested Episodes in the History of
Tuberculosis." The Return of the White Plague: Global Poverty and the New Tuberculosis. Ed. Mathew Gandy and Alimuddin Zumla. London: Verso, 2003. 15-39. Google books. Web. 28 May 2016.
Harvey, Gideon. Morbus Anglicus: or the Anatomy of Consumptions. London: Nathanael Brook, 1666. Print.
Lawlor, Clark and Akihito Suzuki. "The Disease of the Self: Representing
Consumption, 1700-1830." Bulletin of the History of Medicine 74.3 (2000): 614-615. Project Muse. Web. 28 June 2016.
Lawlor, Clark. Consumption and Literature: The Making of the Romantic Disease.
Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan, 2007. Print.
Poe, Edgar A. "Metzengerstein." Southhern Literary Messenger.(1835): 97-100. Google Books. Web. 12 July 2016.
Ryder, Dudley. The Diary of Dudley Ryder, 1715-1716. Transcribed from shorthand and Ed. William Mathews. London: Methuen, 1939. Print.
Shakespeare, William. Much Ado About Nothing. Ed. Sheldon P. Zitner. Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1993. Print.
Sontag, Susan. Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors. New York:
Picador, 2001. Print.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.