TOPIC 13 (WEEK 5): INTRODUCTION
This week’s session focuses on the patient’s view in psychiatry, responding to the call now made many years ago by Roy Porter to ‘do medical history from below’. But can we when we are looking at the history of mental disorder? How does that work, and how did patients respond to and explain their illness or challenge their diagnosis? Does an exploration of the patient’s view add significantly to our understanding of how mental illness was treated and what asylums were like? This week’s readings also urge you to think about the sources we use and approaches we adopt in the history of psychiatry. I will ask you all to focus on Beveridge’s ‘Life in the Asylum’ as well as at least one other reading, and to bring an example of a patient's narrative to the seminar.
Source on patients will be added to Moodle.
- What can patient narratives add to the study of the history of madness?
- What prompted patients to describe their experiences of confinement?
- Can a ‘mad patient’ have a view?
- Can case histories be useful in developing our perceptions of insanity and its treatment in the 19th century?
* Roy Porter, Mind-Forg’d Manacles: A History of Madness in England from the Restoration to the Regency (London: Athlone, 1987; Penguin edn, 1990), ch. 4. Multiple copies in library and e-book
or * Roy Porter, Madmen: A Social History of Madhouses, Mad-Doctors and Lunatics (Stroud: Tempus, 2004), ch. 4.
** Faber Book of Madness, esp. chs. 11 ‘Doctors and Patients’ and 12 ‘Treatments’. Ch.
12. Multiple copies in library
** Dale Peterson (ed.), A Mad People's History of Madness (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1981). (Includes material on George Trosse, Alexander Cruden, William Cowper, Daniel Paul Schreber, Vaslav Nijinsky, etc.) e-book
M. Barfoot and A. Beveridge, ‘Madness at the Crossroads: John Home’s Letters from the Royal Edinburgh Asylum, 1886-87’, Psychological Medicine, 20 (1990), 263-84. e-journal
** Allan Ingram, Voices of Madness: Four Pamphlets, 1683-1796 (Stroud: Sutton, 1997), essay of Alexander Cruden, ‘The London-Citizen Exceedingly Injured,
1739’, pp. 23-
** Allan Ingram (ed.), Patterns of Madness in the Eighteenth Century: A Reader (Liverpool University Press, 1998). Several copies in the library
** Allan Ingram, Cultural Constructions of Madness in Eighteenth-Century Writing: Representing the Insane (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). e-book
* Colin Gale and Robert Howard, Presumed Curable: An Illustrated Casebook of Victorian Psychiatric Patients in Bethlem Hospital (Petersfield and Philadelpia: Wrightson Biomedical Publishing, 2003).
* Diana Gittins, Madness in its Place: Narratives of Severalls Hospitals, 1913-1997 (Routledge: London, 1998). e-book
David Scrimgeour, Proper People: Early Asylum Life in the Words of those Who were There (York: Scrimgeour, 2015).
MADNESS AND LITERATURE
Faber Book of Madness.
Lilian Feder, Madness in Literature (Princeton University Press, 1980).
Katharine Hodgkin, Madness in Seventeenth-Century Autobiography (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2007). e-book
Max Byrd, Visits to Bedlam: Madness and Literature in the Eighteenth Century (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1974).
Allan Ingram, The Madhouse of Language: Writing and Reading Madness in the Eighteenth Century (London and New York: Routledge, 1991).
Barbara Rigney, Madness and Sexual Politics in the Feminist Novel (University of Wisconsin Press, 1978).
The Yellow Wallpaper There is a whole sub-genre on this short book, which we read under Women and Madness: explore the bookshelf around PS.1744.156. e.g. Dale M. Bauer (ed.), The Yellow Wallpaper (Boston: Bedford Books, 1998); Julie Bates Dock, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and the History of its Publication and Reception (Pennsylvania University Press, 1998). Available via Talis Aspire
Thomas C. Caramagno, The Flight of the Mind: Virginia Woolf’s Art and Manic-Depressive Illness (University of California Press, 1992).
Stephen Trombley, ‘All that Summer she was Mad’: Virginia Woolf and her Doctors (London: Junction Books, 1981).
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (1963, London: Faber & Faber, 1966).
A large numbers of novels that deal with mental disorder, and particularly female madness – many will be familiar to you already - e.g. ‘gothic’ and Victorian sensation novels such as Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White, and for the 20th century, less well-known than Plath, Janet Frame’s autobiography, An Angel at my Table (also the subject of a recent film) and her Faces in the Water.