Identifying the insane: madness and marginality in the eighteenth century.

Ingram, Allan (2002) Identifying the insane: madness and marginality in the eighteenth century. Lumen: Memory and Identity: Past and Present, 21. pp. 143-157. ISSN 1209-3696

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This article discusses the case of Alexander Cruden who published several pamphlets protesting against his wrongful confinement as a madman, in the mid eighteenth century. While Cruden seems to have been badly treated, his textual identification of himself with Alexander the Great and the biblical Joseph, together with his lavish praise of the Duke of Cumberland, make his over-riding claim to sanity suspect. The point of the article is to consider the tenuous position in society of the ‘cured’, or the released ‘madman’, and the extent to which re-absorption seems virtually impossible. The article was described as an ‘extremely interesting and well-written study’ by the anonymous reader for Lumen. It is based on a paper originally given at a conference of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Toronto. Ingram has been an invited speaker at a subsequent conference in Winnipeg (2007).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mentally ill, imprisonment
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 27 May 2008 13:42
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 19:22

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