'I look pale. I should like to die of a consumption.' 'Why?' asked [Byron's] guest. 'Because the ladies would all say, Look at that poor Byron, how interesting he looks in dying.'
Fashionable Diseases is a three-year, Leverhulme-funded research project at the Universities of Northumbria and Newcastle. Through a series of workshops, a major international conference and several publications, the research team is exploring how certain painful and debilitating illnesses such as melancholy, consumption and even biliousness, rose to the height of fashion in the eighteenth century. The project aims to demonstrate the crucial role of narratives, representations and labelling in determining how people, both then and now, imagine and experience disease.