Drop Dead Gorgeous: Fashioning Tuberculosis in early Victorian England

April 15, 2021
5:30 PM
Location: Virtual Lecture Series
Newport, RI 02840

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Thursday, April 15, 5:30 p.m. EDT
Carolyn Day, PhD, Associate Professor of History at Furman University

A chasm often exists between the gruesome biological manifestations of diseases and the comparatively positive representations employed as part of strategies for coping with them. This was particularly true of consumption (tuberculosis) in the early 19th century. During this period, there was a tubercular moment in which cultural ideas about beauty increasingly intertwined with the disease process to allow for the ravages of consumption to be presented in an aesthetically pleasing light. As a result, tuberculosis was an affliction that was emulated both in beauty ideals and fashion. Dr. Day’s talk will explore the connections between fashion and tuberculosis between 1830-1850.


About Carolyn Day
Carolyn Day, PhD, received a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Louisiana State University before completing an MPhil in the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine from Cambridge University and a PhD in British History from Tulane University. She is an Associate Professor of History at Furman University and the author of Consumptive Chic: a History of Beauty, Fashion and Disease (Bloomsbury, 2017). She is also a Georgian Paper Fellow and is currently working on two new books. The first for the University of Toronto Press entitled A Tale of Uncommon Parental Barbarity?  The life and death of Ann Wainhouse and another book on Princess Amelia, the youngest daughter of King George III. 

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Drop Dead Gorgeous: Fashioning Tuberculosis in early Victorian England