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Lovesickness and Gender in Early Modern English Literature - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Lovesickness and Gender in Early Modern English Literature

Lesel Dawson


The discourse of love, which is subjective, private, and instinctive, is also culturally constructed, public, and learned; it emphasizes the way in which the expression of reflexive feelings is bound up in wider historical narratives about bodies and interiority. In early modern medical texts, intense unfulfilled erotic desire is held to be a real and virulent disease: it is classified as a species of melancholy, with physical aetiologies and cures. This book analyses literary representations of lovesickness in relation to medical ideas about desire and wider questions about gender and identit ... More

Keywords: lovesickness, love, desire, gender, melancholy, hysteria, Neoplatonism, masculinity, Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, Thomas Middleton, John Ford

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780199266128
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199266128.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lesel Dawson, author
Senior Lecturer in English, University of Bristol
Author Webpage