Idols of Perversity.
Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siècle Culture.


Written by Bram Dijkstra.
Oxford University Press, New York, 1986. 448 pp., 302 black and white illustrations, 7x10".

In Idols of Perversity Bram Dijkstra unfolds a fascinating analysis on the development of misogynistic portrayals of women in all aspects of culture around the end of the nineteenth century and the continuing influence of this vein of thought today. Centered on a notion that women were exempted from the great evolutionary plan which would eventually transport men to their preordained role as disembodied, completely spiritual beings, late nineteenth century portrayals of women in art and literature, as well as in scientific and philosophic tracts, were visions of evil temptresses, waiting to hinder natural evolution and ensnare men through erotic trickery.

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