Dr James Stark launches book on anti-ageing in modern Britain
This major new study provides the first historical account of the most dominant ideas, practices, and material cultures associated with anti-ageing and rejuvenation in modern Britain.
With a focus on the interwar period, The Cult of Youth uncovers the central role of the commercial world in influencing attitudes towards ageing and youth.
The resulting narrative ranges from the sensational grafting of monkey testicles into older men to decadent, vitamin-rich and hormone-infused moisturisers applied in Bond Street beauty salons. Dr Stark shows that the technologies of anti-ageing, their commercialisation and their consumption made rejuvenation a possible and desirable aim in a period of socio-political instability, mechanised conflict and extending lifespans.
The book explores a range of themes, including bodies, gender, science, medicine, advertising, and ageing, plus it shows how the centuries-old quest for youth was transformed by social anxieties about an ageing population and economic crisis.