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An innovative, interdisciplinary study of why leprosy, a disease with a very low level of infection, has repeatedly provoked revulsion and fear. Rod Edmond explores, in particular, how these reactions were refashioned in the modern colonial period. Beginning as a medical history, the book broadens into an examination of how Britain and its colonies responded to the believed spread of leprosy. Across the empire this involved isolating victims of the disease in 'colonies', often on offshore islands. Discussion of the segregation of lepers is then extended to analogous examples of this practice, which, it is argued, has been an essential part of the repertoire of colonialism in the modern period. The book also examines literary representations of leprosy in Romantic, Victorian and twentieth-century writing, and concludes with a discussion of traveller-writers such as R. L. Stevenson and Graham Greene who described and fictionalised their experience of staying in a leper colony.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521865845
ISBN-10: 0521865840
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Pages: 266
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 30-Nov-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Rod Edmond

Rod Edmond is Professor of Modern Literature and Cultural History at the University of Kent. His previous publications include Representing the South Pacific: Colonial Discourse from Cook to Gauguin (1997), and, as co-editor with Vanessa Smith, Islands in History and Representation (2003).

Books By Author Rod Edmond

Leprosy and Empire by Rod Edmond

Leprosy and Empire

Paperback, November 2009
Islands in History and Representation by Rod Edmond

Islands in History and Representation

Paperback, September 2006
Representing the South Pacific by Rod Edmond

Representing the South Pacific

Paperback, October 2005