How much VD was there in Georgian London? Can we estimate the population prevalence of STIs before the twentieth century?

Professor Simon Szreter

(Cambridge University)

19th November 2013

The venereal diseases feature strongly in Boswell’s diary and consequently Georgian London has passed into literature and popular history as a byword for sexual licence. But is this at all justified as a general description of the capital and its population? Can we hope to know anything about the population prevalence of STIs in Britain before the twentieth century?

Simon Szreter presents new research undertaken in collaboration with Kevin Siena (author of Venereal Disease, Hospitals and the Urban Poor. London’s Foul Wards 1600-1800)