Mad or Bad

Crime and Insanity in Victorian Britain

Author: David J Vaughan

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 1473864151

Category: History

Page: 208

View: 7066


In a violent 19th century, desperate attempts by the alienists - a new wave of 'mad-doctor' - brought the insanity plea into Victorian courts. Defining psychological conditions in an attempt at acquittal, they faced ridicule, obstruction - even professional ruin - as they strove for acceptance and struggled for change. It left 'mad people' hanged for offenses they could not remember, and ‘bad’ people freed on unscrupulous pleas. Written in accessible language, this book - unlike any before it - retells twenty-five cases, from the renowned to obscure, including an attempt to murder a bemused Queen Victoria; the poisoner Dove and the much-feared magician; the king’s former wet-nurse who slaughtered six children; the worst serial killer in Britain...and more. A Who's Who introduces the principal players - lifesaving medics, like Maudsley and Bucknill; intransigent lawyers like Bramwell and Parke., while a convenient Glossary of ‘terms and conditions’: ranging from ‘Insane on Arraignment’ to Her Majesty’s Pleasure, ‘Ticket of Leave’ to ‘Burden of Proof’, helps to explain the outcomes of the cases. Insanity Conditions presents, in glossary format, the diagnosed maladies put forward in court. Rarely accepted, more often rejected, by those keen on justice in its traditional form. A History of Debate explains the titular subject - through graspable language and a window in time. How the ones found 'not guilty on the grounds of insanity' were curiously handled in Victorian law. A chapter devoted to madness and women - from hysteria to murder, ‘monthly madness’ to crime. Raising opportune questions about the issue of gender, and exposing the truths of a masculine world.

Institutionalizing the Insane in Nineteenth-Century England

Author: Anna Shepherd

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317319060

Category: Medical

Page: 240

View: 8869


The nineteenth century brought an increased awareness of mental disorder, epitomized in the Asylum Acts of 1808 and 1845. Shepherd looks at two very different institutions to provide a nuanced account of the nineteenth-century mental health system.

A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People?

England 1783-1846

Author: Boyd Hilton

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191606820

Category: History

Page: 784

View: 4118


This was a transformative period in English history. In 1783 the country was at one of the lowest points in its fortunes, having just lost its American colonies in warfare. By 1846 it was once more a great imperial nation, as well as the world's strongest power and dominant economy, having benefited from what has sometimes (if misleadingly) been called the 'first industrial revolution'. In the meantime it survived a decade of invasion fears, and emerged victorious from more than twenty years of 'war to the death' against Napoleonic France. But if Britain's external fortunes were in the ascendant, the situation at home remained fraught with peril. The country's population was growing at a rate not experienced by any comparable former society, and its manufacturing towns especially were mushrooming into filthy, disease-ridden, gin-sodden hell-holes, in turn provoking the phantasmagoria of a mad, bad, and dangerous people. It is no wonder that these years should have experienced the most prolonged period of social unrest since the seventeenth century, or that the elite should have been in constant fear of a French-style revolution in England. The governing classes responded to these new challenges and by the mid-nineteenth century the seeds of a settled two-party system and of a more socially interventionist state were both in evidence, though it would have been far too soon to say at that stage whether those seeds would take permanent root. Another consequence of these tensions was the intellectual engagement with society, as for example in the Romantic Movement, a literary phenomenon that brought English culture to the forefront of European attention for the first time. At the same time the country experienced the great religious revival, loosely described under the heading 'evangelicalism'. Slowly but surely, the raffish and rakish style of eighteenth-century society, having reached a peak in the Regency, then succumbed to the new norms of respectability popularly known as 'Victorianism'.

Murder, Magic, Madness

The Victorian Trials of Dove and the Wizard

Author: Davies Owen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317867564

Category: History

Page: 264

View: 9442


In 1856 William Dove, a young tenant farmer, was tried and executed for the poisoning of his wife Harriet. The trial might have been a straightforward case of homicide, but because Dove became involved with Henry Harrison, a Leeds wizard, and demonstrated through his actions and words a strong belief in magic and the powers of the devil, considerable effort was made to establish whether these beliefs were symptomatic of insanity. It seems that Dove murdered his wife to hasten a prediction made by Harrison that he would remarry a more attractive and wealthy woman. Dove employed Harrison to perform various acts of magic, and also made his own written pact with the devil to improve his personal circumstances. The book will study Dove’s beliefs and Harrison’s activities within the rural and urban communities in which they lived, and examine how modern cultures attempted to explain this largely hidden mental world, which was so sensationally exposed. The Victorian period is often portrayed as an age of great social and educational progress. This book shows how beliefs dismissed by some Victorians as ‘medieval superstitions’ continued to influence the thoughts and actions of many people, viz most famously Conan `table tapper' Doyle.

Mad Or Bad?

Race, Class, Gender, and Mental Disorder in the Criminal Justice System

Author: Melissa Thompson

Publisher: Lfb Scholarly Pub Llc

ISBN: 9781593323325

Category: Social Science

Page: 197

View: 368


Femininity, Crime and Self-Defence in Victorian Literature and Society

From Dagger-Fans to Suffragettes

Author: E. Godfrey

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137284560

Category: Fiction

Page: 192

View: 7455


This exploration into the development of women's self-defence from 1850 to 1914 features major writers, including H.G. Wells, Elizabeth Robins and Richard Marsh, and encompasses an unusually wide-ranging number of subjects from hatpin crimes to the development of martial arts for women.

Women, Crime, and Custody in Victorian England

Author: Lucia Zedner

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand


Category: History

Page: 364

View: 793


This book explores how the Victorians perceived and explained female crime, and how they responded to it--both in penal theory and prison practice. Victorian England women made up a far larger proportion of those known to be involved in crime than they do today: the nature of female criminality attracted considerable attention and preoccupied those trying to provide for women within the penal system. Zedner's rigorously researched study examines the extent to which gender-based ideologies influenced attitudes to female criminality. She charts the shift from the moral analyses dominant in the mid-nineteenth century to the interpretation of criminality as biological or psychological disorder prevalent later. Using a wide variety of sources--including prison regulations, diaries, letters, punishment books, grievances and appeals--Zedner explores both penological theory and the realities of prison life.

Inconvenient People

Lunacy, Liberty, and the Mad-Doctors in England

Author: Sarah Wise

Publisher: Catapult

ISBN: 1619022206

Category: Psychology

Page: 495

View: 3976


The phenomenon of false allegations of mental illness is as old as our first interactions as human beings. Every one of us has described some other person as crazy or insane, and most all of us have had periods, moments at least, of madness. But it took the confluence of the law and medical science, mad-doctors, alienists, priests and barristers, to raise the matter to a level of “science, capable of being used by conniving relatives, “designing families and scheming neighbors to destroy people who found themselves in the way, people whose removal could provide their survivors with money or property or other less frivolous benefits. Girl Interrupted in only a recent example. And reversing this sort of diagnosis and incarceration became increasingly more difficult, as even the most temperate attempt to leave these “homes or “hospitals was deemed “crazy. Kept in a madhouse, one became a little mad, as Jack Nicholson and Ken Kesey explain in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. In this sadly terrifying, emotionally moving, and occasionally hilarious book, twelve cases of contested lunacy are offered as examples of the shifting arguments regarding what constituted sanity and insanity. They offer unique insight into the fears of sexuality, inherited madness, greed and fraud, until public feeling shifted and turned against the rising alienists who would challenge liberty and freedom of people who were perhaps simply “difficult, but were turned into victims of this unscrupulous trade. This fascinating book is filled with stories almost impossible to believe but wildly engaging, a book one will not soon forget.


London and Its Mad

Author: Catharine Arnold

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1847390005

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 7574


The mad have always been with us. Bethlehem Hospital, or `Bedlam' as it became in cockney slang, is the world's oldest psychiatric hospital. Founded in 1247 it developed from a ramshackle hovel to the magnificent `Palace Beautiful', where visitors could pay to gawp at the chained inmates, through to the great Victorian hospital in Lambeth, now the Imperial War Museum. Catharine Arnold takes us on a tour of Bedlam and examines London's attitude to madness along the way. We travel through the ages, from the barbaric `exorcisms' of the medieval period to the Tudor belief that a roast mouse, eaten whole, was the cure. We see the reforming zeal of eighteenth century campaigners and the development of the massive Victorian asylums. This was the era of the private madhouse, run by `traders in lunacy' who asked no questions and locked up insane and sane alike at the behest of greedy relatives. But it was also the age of the determined reformers who eventually made their way into Bedlam and exposed conditions of terrible deprivation and brutality. `A finely written, thoroughly researched and humane book, packed with moving stories' Independent `Smoothly written, densely researched...When you close this rewardingly informative and tastefully conceived book, you will be the richer for it' Sunday Express

Criminal justice history

themes and controversies from pre-independence Ireland

Author: Ian O'Donnell,Finbarr McAuley

Publisher: Four Courts Pr Ltd


Category: History

Page: 256

View: 2875


This book comprises selected essays on issues in crime and punishment prior to the foundation of the Irish State. A detailed bibliography is provided to make available the most important material published between 1922 and 2002.

Madness and Crime

Author: Philip Bean

Publisher: Willan Pub

ISBN: 9781843922971

Category: Psychology

Page: 191

View: 9479


This book provides an authoritative and highly readable review of the relationship between madness and crime by one of the leading authorities in the field. The book is divided into four parts, each essay focusing on selected features of madness which have relevance to contemporary society. The aim is not to provide a comprehensive review of the literature, or a definitive statement about where we stand, but to reflect on central elements of a field that continues to perplex and challenge, drawing upon a range of disciplines and approaches. Part 1 is about madness itself, exploring three main models - cognitive, statistical, and emotional. Part 2 discusses madness, genius and their interrelationship. Part 3 is about the much neglected area of compulsion, an issue that has largely disappeared from public debate. The mad may have moved from victim to violator, yet fundamental questions remain - in particular how to justify compulsory detention, and who should undertake the process? The answers to these questions have sociological, ethical and jurisprudential elements, and cannot just be resolved by reference to medical authorities. Part 4 is about the links between madness and crime - focusing less on the question and nature of criminal responsibilty and the various defences that go with this, more on the links between madness and crime and which particular crimes are linked with which types of disorder

Expectations of Madness

Race, Gender, and Mental Health Evaluations in the Criminal Justice System

Author: Melissa Ann Thompson

Publisher: N.A



Page: 508

View: 2876


Suicide in Victorian and Edwardian England

Author: Olive Anderson

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand


Category: History

Page: 475

View: 911


This is the first historical study of a central human problem. Using different combinations of historical techniques and sources (including coroners' private case papers), Professor Anderson examines in turn four major elements in the study of suicide: suicide rates and distributions; individual experiences; social attitudes; and efforts at prevention.

A Bottomless Grave

and Other Victorian Tales of Terror

Author: Hugh Lamb

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486114376

Category: Fiction

Page: 224

View: 1422


Twenty-one rare, seldom-anthologized stories include "A Bottomless Grave" by Ambrose Bierce, "The Ship that Saw a Ghost" by Frank Norris, Guy de Maupassant's "The Tomb," other gems of the genre.

Crime in Victorian Britain

An Annotated Bibliography from Nineteenth-century British Magazines

Author: E. M. Palmegiano

Publisher: Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press


Category: History

Page: 165

View: 5270


"There is a lot for us to relish in the pages. The index alone is worth a tour, revealing both the mundane and the exotic. The book is a sharp reminder of the Victorian treasures that we know we'd like to read. Every university library should have this book." Albion

The Trials of Laura Fair

Sex, Murder, and Insanity in the Victorian West

Author: Carole Haber

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 146960759X

Category: History

Page: 328

View: 9667


On November 3, 1870, on a San Francisco ferry, Laura Fair shot a bullet into the heart of her married lover, A. P. Crittenden. Throughout her two murder trials, Fair's lawyers, supported by expert testimony from physicians, claimed that the shooting was the result of temporary insanity caused by a severely painful menstrual cycle. The first jury disregarded such testimony, choosing instead to focus on Fair's disreputable character. In the second trial, however, an effective defense built on contemporary medical beliefs and gendered stereotypes led to a verdict that shocked Americans across the country. In this rousing history, Carole Haber probes changing ideas about morality and immorality, masculinity and femininity, love and marriage, health and disease, and mental illness to show that all these concepts were reinvented in the Victorian West. Haber's book examines the era's most controversial issues, including suffrage, the gendered courts, women's physiology, and free love. This notorious story enriches our understanding of Victorian society, opening the door to a discussion about the ways in which reputation, especially female reputation, is shaped.