Article Text

Download PDFPDF
‘The bad disorder’: syphilis before 1944
  1. Huw Houssemayne du Boulay
  1. Correspondence to Huw Houssemayne du Boulay, Myrtle Cottage, Cooksbridge, Lewes, East Sussex BN84SW, UK; huwduboulay{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Syphilis is ‘intended as a punishment for our sins and we should not interfere in the matter’1—Sir Samuel Solly (lecturer and surgeon), 1868.

In the first issue of the British Journal of Venereology in 1925, syphilis was a subject already in the mind of the medical world, with the first article not describing its symptoms, as they ‘are familiar to every reader of this Journal’.2 Syphilis had a long history of stigma, evidenced by the prevalence of …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.