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The London Lock Hospital in the Nineteenth Century

Gender, Sexuality and Social Reform

Maria Isabel Romero Ruiz

Based on archival research, this volume is concerned with the treatment of «fallen women» and prostitutes at the London Lock Hospital and Asylum throughout the nineteenth century. As venereally-diseased women, they were treated in the hospital for their physical ailments; those considered ripe for reform were secluded in the asylum for a moral cure. The author analyses the social and cultural implications arising from the situation of these female inmates at a time when women’s sexuality was widely debated, using a gender-informed and postmodernist approach.
The volume covers notions of purity and deviancy, issues of gender and sexual identity, the social and cultural issues connected with so-called fallen women and prostitutes, and descriptions of venereal disease and treatments for women patients at the time. The Contagious Diseases Acts and their impact are examined, as are the social and cultural implications of the creation of specialised hospitals and places of moral confinement. The book provides a complete picture of the Lock Hospital and Asylum and is an important contribution to the history of hospitals in the Victorian period.
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Bibliography

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Extract

An Abstract of the Rules and Orders for the Government of the Lock Hospital near Hyde-Park Corner, Instituted July 4, 1746, for the Relief of Venereal Patients Only, By Order of the Annual General Court held April 21, 1814. The Library, Royal College of Surgeons of England, London, MS/0022/5/3.

An Account of the Lock Hospital and Asylum, 1834. The Library, Royal College of Surgeons of England, London, MS0022/3/8.

An Account of the Lock Hospital; to Which is Added an Account of the Lock Asylum, 1835. The Library, Royal College of Surgeons of England, London, MS0022/3/8.

An Account of the Lock Hospital; to Which is Added an Account of the Lock Asylum, 1837. The Library, Royal College of Surgeons of England, London, MS0022/3/8.

An Account of the Nature and Intention of the Lock Asylum, for the Reception of Female Penitents when discharged from the Lock Hospital: with an Abstract of the Accounts, from the first Institution, to LADY-DAY, 1833. Also the Code of the Regulations, with a List of Benefactors and Subscribers. The Library, Royal College of Surgeons of England, London, MS0022/3/8.

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