Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction PART I: RENAISSANCE Consumption and Love Melancholy: The Renaissance Tradition The 'Golden Disease': Early Modern Religious Consumptions PART II: ENLIGHTENMENT 'The genteel, linear, consumptive make': the Disease of Sensibility and the Sentimental 'A consuming malady and a consuming mistress': Consumptive Masculinity and Sensibility PART III: ROMANTIC AND VICTORIAN Wasting Poets 'Seeming delicately slim': Consumed and Consuming Women Meeting Keats in Heaven: David Gray and the Romantic Legacy Conclusion: Germ Theory and After Bibliography Index. This book seeks to explain how consumption - a horrible disease - came to be the glamorous and artistic Romantic malady. It tries to explain the disparity between literary myth and bodily reality, by examining literature and medicine from the Renaissance to the late Victorian period, covering a wide range of authors and characters. Shortlisted for the 2008 ESSE Book Award in the field of Literatures in the English Language. 'The scholarship displayed in this book - both literary and medical - is immense. Over the past decade there has been increasing interest in the relationship between literature and disease [and] Lawlor's book is a superb contribution to this field of study, as it extends the literary study of consumption back into the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while significantly broadening this discussion beyond the major consumptive writers... to produce a veritable canon of consumptive writing. Lawlor's book is the best history of this literary disease that we have' - Professor Alan Bewell, Department of English, University of Toronto, Canada 'This book provides much more than the title promises. It explores interpretations of consumption (pulmonary tuberculosis) from the Renaissance to the Victorian period...The result is a finely balanced exploration of historical and literary conceptions of consumption from the viewpoints of patients, physicians, and onlookers...Summing Up: Recommended.' - A. E. McKim, Choice 'Clark Lawlor's scholarly account of 'consumption narratives' is to be recommended as a well-informed and engaging contribution to the burgeoning field of interdisciplinary studies addressing the literary representation of disease...Lawlor's fascinating study provides new readings of canonical literary texts, as well as alerting us to lesser-known sources including medical texts, journals and private correspondence to provide a valuable account of the evolving aesthetics of consumption.' - David E. Shuttleton, Journal of Literature and Science 'By uncovering the link between sensitivity and genius, Lawlor aims to explain that association.' Judith Hawley, Eighteenth-Century studies, Vol.42, No. 1