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Picture of Venereal Diseases and the Reform Enigma

Venereal Diseases and the Reform Enigma

“The Lesser of Two Evils”

Author(s): Susan Lemar

Book Description

When Sir Humphrey Appleby warned his Prime Minister against making “courageous policy”, he could have been talking about venereal diseases. Many have considered misogyny, class conflict and racial paranoia as the drivers of venereal diseases control policy in the early twentieth century. In reality, such policy was inclined towards disease control in the most practical way, with the resources to hand, and in line with realistic outcomes. This book re-examines historical sources to reveal the unacknowledged complexity of determining public policy for the control of venereal diseases in two case studies, Edinburgh in Scotland and Adelaide in South Australia.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-2168-1
ISBN-10: 1-5275-2168-0
Date of Publication: 01/02/2019
Pages / Size: 303 / A5
Price: £64.99


Susan Lemar graduated with a PhD from the University of Adelaide in 2001. She is currently an Australian Commonwealth Public Servant working in education policy, having previously worked in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide. Her publications include the articles “Politics and Public Health in Late Nineteenth-Century Adelaide” in History Matters (2006), “Locating Adelaide Eugenics: Venereal Diseases and the South Australian Branch of the British Science Guild 1911-1914” in Journal of Australian Studies (2004), and “Boy Labour, Employment and Apprenticeship in South Australia 1875-1917: ‘A case of roll up your sleeves and go to work’” in Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia (2003), among others.