A Mad People’s History of Madness

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Dale Peterson
University of Pittsburgh Press, Mar 15, 1982 - Psychology - 384 pages
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A man desperately tries to keep his pact with the Devil, a woman is imprisoned in an insane asylum by her husband because of religious differences, and, on the testimony of a mere stranger, “a London citizen” is sentenced to a private madhouse. This anthology of writings by mad and allegedly mad people is a comprehensive overview of the history of mental illness for the past five hundred years-from the viewpoint of the patients themselves.

Dale Peterson has compiled twenty-seven selections dating from 1436 through 1976. He prefaces each excerpt with biographical information about the writer. Peterson's running commentary explains the national differences in mental health care and the historical changes that have take place in symptoms and treatment. He traces the development of the private madhouse system in England and the state-run asylum system in the United States. Included is the first comprehensive bibliography of writings by the mentally ill.
 

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Contents

1436 The Book of Margery Kempe
3
1677 1678 The Diary of Christoph Haizmann
19
1714 The Life of the Reverend Mr George Trosse
26
1739 The LondonCitizen Exceedingly Injured By Alexander Cruden
39
1774 One More Proff of the Iniquitous Abuse of Private Madhouses by Samuel Bruckshaw
57
1816 Memoir of the Early Life of William Cowper Esq
64
1818 The Interior of Bethlehem Hospital by Urbane Metcalf
74
1838 and 1840 A Narrative of the Treatment Experienced by a Gentleman During a State of Mental Derangement by John Perceval
92
1938 The Witnesses by Thomas Hennell
203
1944 Brainstorm by Carlton Brown
214
1945 I Question Anonymous
229
1946 The Snake Pit by Mary Jane Ward
238
1952 Wisdom Madness and Folly by John Custance
256
1955 Voices Calling by Lisa Wiley
271
1964 I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg
284
1965 Beyond All Reason by Morag Coate
296

1849 Five Months in the NewYork State Lunatic Asylum Anonymous
108
As Demonstrated by the Report of the Investigating Committee of the Legislature of Illinois by Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard
123
1869 The Trial of Ebenezer Haskell in Lunacy and His Acquittal Before Judge Brewster in November 1868
130
1903 Memoirs of My Nervous Illness by Daniel Paul Schreber
136
1908 A Mind That Found Itself by Clifford Beers
161
A Realistic Study of Madness from the Maniacs Point of View by E Thelmar
176
1910 Legally Dead Experiences During Seventeen Weeks Detention in a Private Asylum by Marcia Hamilcar
187
1918 1919 The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky
194
1975 The Eden Express by Mark Vonnegut
312
1976 Insanity Inside Out by Kenneth Donaldson
327
Epilogue
336
Ancient and Medieval Visions of Madness
341
Contemporary Models of Madness
348
Bibliography
353
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About the author (1982)

Dale Peterson is the author of several books, including Storyville, USA and Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

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