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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Harder to kill than Dracula?

Impending advent of the movie Hysteria has led to yet another resurgence of uncritical mentions of the Victorian doctors/vibrators factoid. Why historians find this popular assumption problematic. Though possibly the question to be asked is why this caught on so quickly and just keeps on spreading: probably to do with constructions of the Victorians as the epitome of sexual weirdness (concatenating ignorance, repression, and kinkiness), as discussed in my chapter in forthcoming volume edited by Kate Fisher and Rebecca Langlands, Sex, Knowledge and Receptions of the Past (Oxford University Press) .

As Kenneth Williams declaims in what is probably a more amusing faux-historical film 'Infamy, infamy, they've all got it infamy'.

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