Letters on Mesmerism
Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) was a British writer who was one of the first social theorists to examine all aspects of a society, including class, religion, national character and the status of women. Seriously ill in the early 1840s, she turned to alternative remedies, and underwent a course of mesmerism, to which she attributed her remarkable restoration to health. She published her account of the treatment in a series of letters in the Athenaeum in December 1844, and subsequently in book form, and her cure caused a sensation, adding greatly to public interest in mesmerism. To her fury, her doctor (and brother-in-law) T. M. Greenhow defended his own treatment of her in a remarkably detailed account of her illness, which she regarded as a serious breach of patient confidentiality, and his pamphlet is appended to Martineau's work in this reissue.
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