George Beard’s American Nervousness: Its Causes and Consequences (1881)… described a new disease he called neurasthenia (lack of ‘nerve force’), whose symptoms… were legion, and whose cause could be found, quite simply, in modernity.  “The chief and primary cause of this development and very rapid increase of nervousness is modern civilization, which is distinguished from the ancient by these five characteristics: steam-power, the periodical press, the telegraph, the sciences, and the mental activity of women”.

-Kelly Hurley, The Gothic body


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