Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Itch, Clap, Pox – Venereal Disease in the Eighteenth-Century Imagination - Yale Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Itch, Clap, Pox: Venereal Disease in the Eighteenth-Century Imagination

Noelle Gallagher


In eighteenth-century Britain, venereal disease was everywhere and nowhere: while physicians and commentators believed the condition to be widespread, it remained shrouded in secrecy, and was often represented using slang, symbolism, and wordplay. This book explores the cultural significance of the “clap” (gonorrhea), the “pox” (syphilis), and the “itch” (genital scabies) for the development of eighteenth-century British literature and art. As a condition both represented through metaphors and used as a metaphor, venereal disease provided a vehicle for the discussion of cultural anxieties abou ... More

Keywords: venereal disease, eighteenth-century Britain, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital scabies, cultural anxiety, elite masculinity, prostitution, foreignness, facial deformity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780300217056
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300217056.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Noelle Gallagher, author
University of Manchester

Show Summary Details

subscribe or login to access all content.