Passing the Buck With Syphilis

I found the following bit of information in the book Medicine, Mortality and the Book Trade (eds. Robin Myers and Michael Harris), in Roy Porter's chapter "Reading: A Health Warning". This isn't a specifically Victorian story, but I know perceptions of venerial disease as 'French' lasted well into the nineteenth and even the twentieth centuries.

"It is well known that particular nations have their own diseases. Take the pox. Syphilis was initially called the 'disease of Naples', but it rapidly because styled the 'French Pox'; it was the Spanish disease in Holland, the Polish disease in Russia, the Russian disease in Siberia, the Christian disease in Turkey and the Portuguese disease in India and Japan.

"For their part the Portuguese called it the Castilian disease, and a couple of centuries later Captain Cook (1728-79), exploring the Pacific, rued that the Tahitians 'called the venereal disease Apa no BritanniaThe British disease'".

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