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Dangerous bodiesHistoricising the gothic corporeal$
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Marie Mulvey-Roberts

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085413

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085413.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Death by orgasm: sexual surgery and Dracula

Death by orgasm: sexual surgery and Dracula

(p.92) 3 Death by orgasm: sexual surgery and Dracula
Dangerous bodies

Marie Mulvey-Roberts

Manchester University Press

Chapter 3 discusses how surgical treatment was used to ‘correct’ women who had strayed from their traditional gender role. This forms a subtext to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a novel reflecting the social and political instability of gender during the fin de siècle. Several members of Bram Stoker’s family were doctors and surgeons, from whom he acquired clinical and surgical details for the writing of Dracula. Cases from the history of sexual surgery, including those conducted by Stoker’s brother Thornley Stoker, parallel readings from the novel, where the destruction of the female vampire will be viewed as a deconstructed narrative of surgical horror and medical tyranny visited upon the female hysteric, along with other women deemed sexually perverse. As Andrew Smith expresses it, for the female hysteric, doctors were ‘Gothic figures, inflicting pain and distress either through neglect or through a misplaced sense of surgical bravado.’

Keywords:   Masturbation, clitoridectomy, Baker Brown, surgery, Thornley Stoker

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