Catalogue

COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations.

Madness and society in eighteenth-century Scotland /
R.A. Houston.
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press, 2000.
description
xi, 450 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0198207875 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford : Clarendon Press, 2000.
isbn
0198207875 (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
3578477
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [411]-441) and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
... an impressive and at times provocative history of madness in Scotland during the 18th century.
'I enjoyed best the chapter entitled 'Being Mad'. At what point did normal behaviour become abnormal? Was the giving away of money by a Scotsman a sign of madness?'Christopher History of Psychiatry, Xi (2000).
'It is very welcome to come across a book on the history of madness not written by a medical historian, a historian of psychiatry or a psychiatrist.' Christopher Lawrence, History of Psychiatry, Xi (2000).
'Professor Houston's closely worked analysis is worth reading by anyone wanting to use early modern court records. He shows exactly how the historian should contextualise and assess the value of his material before he offers interpretation.'Scottish Archives: The Journal of the Scottish Records Association
'Rab Houston's book is a splendid study of the place of madness within everyday life of an eighteenth-century society ... even-handed historical approach.' Christopher Lawrence, History of Psychiatry, Xi (2000).
'rich and indispensable study.'David Cunningham, The Scotsman 4/3/00
The supreme value of the book to any reader who is seeking an engagement with the texture of the past is the richness of detail about insanity as witnessed by ordinary people.
This book, in providing such thought-provoking material, along with comprehensive and generous analysis, has opened a new chapter in our understanding of eighteenth-century Scotland.
This has to be the largest study of mental affliction in any eighteenth-century European society, and is more than a match for Michael MacDonald's pioneering study of Jacobean England ... establishes the distinctive legal and cultural settings of debates on madness in eighteenth-century Scotland.
'This is a model lesson in how to set about interpreting and using some of the less well-researched historical sources in order to get at contemporary understanding at grass roots level - and how to do this in such a way that, having understood the nuances of the material, one can construct acomplex and subtle series of arguments from them.'Scottish Archives: The Journal of the Scottish Records Association
This is an important study, and all those interested in the history of madness should have a look at what a work like this, grounded firmly in the archive sources, can do for many of the preconceptions, assertions, assumptions and theories about madness.
This is an important study of a society and its attitudes towards insanity (important is, if anything, an understatement of its scope and achievement), it is so not only because of the wealth of detail, of the insane, the imputedly insane, and of sane opinion about insanity, but because of the exemplary sensitivity with which this most personal of topics is unfailingly handled.
This thorough exploration of the lay world of 18th-century madness leads Houston into historiographical nuance and debate on a number of key issues in the field.
... very able and thoroughly researched ... offers many stimulating and modifying findings which contribute to the ongoing debate about the treatment and meaning of insanity in the eighteenth century and later.
'Professor Houston's closely worked analysis is worth reading by anyone wanting to use early modern court records. He shows exactly how the historian should contextualise and assess the value of his material before he offers interpretation.'Scottish Archives: The Journal of the Scottish Records Association'This is a model lesson in how to set about interpreting and using some of the less well-researched historical sources in order to get at contemporary understanding at grass roots level - and how to do this in such a way that, having understood the nuances of the material, one can construct a complex and subtle series of arguments from them.'Scottish Archives: The Journal of the Scottish Records Association'It is very welcome to come across a book on the history of madness not written by a medical historian, a historian of psychiatry or a psychiatrist.'Christopher Lawrence, History of Psychiatry, Xi (2000).'Rab Houston's book is a splendid study of the place of madness within everyday life of an eighteenth-century society ... even-handed historical approach.'Christopher Lawrence, History of Psychiatry, Xi (2000).'I enjoyed best the chapter entitled 'Being Mad'. At what point did normal behaviour become abnormal? Was the giving away of money by a Scotsman a sign of madness?'Christopher History of Psychiatry, Xi (2000).'rich and indispensable study.'David Cunningham, The Scotsman 4/3/00
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
How did people view mental health problems in the 18th century, and what do the attitudes of ordinary people towards those afflicted tell us about the values of society at the time? This study draws on contemporary sources.
Long Description
How did people view mental health problems in the eighteenth century, and what do the attitudes of ordinary people towards those afflicted tell us about the values of society at that time? Professor Houston draws upon a wide range of contemporary sources, notably asylum documents, and civil and criminal court records, to present unique insights into the issues around madness, including the written and spoken words of sufferers themselves, and the vocabulary associated with insanity. The links between madness and a range of other issues are explored including madness, gender, social status, religion and witchcraft, in addition to the attributed causes of derangement such as heredity and alcohol abuse. This is a detailed yet profoundly humane and compassionate study of the everyday experiences of those suffering mental impairments ranging from idiocy to lunacy, and an exploration into the meaning of this for society in the eighteenth century.
Main Description
How did people view mental health problems in the eighteenth century, and what do the attitudes of ordinary people towards those afflicted tell us about the values of society at that time? Here, Rab Houston draws upon a wide range of contemporary sources including asylum documents, civil and criminal court records, including the written and spoken words of sufferers themselves, to present unique insights into the many issues related to madness. A detailed yet profoundly humane and compassionate study, this book describes the everyday experiences of those suffering mental impairments ranging from idiocy to lunacy and explores the many meanings and implications for society in the eighteenth century.
Main Description
How did people view mental health problems in the eighteenth century, and what do the attitudes of ordinary people towards those afflicted tell us about the values of society at that time? Professor Houston draws upon a wide range of contemporary sources, notably asylum documents, and civil and criminal court records, to present unique insights into the issues around madness, including the written and spoken words of sufferers themselves, and the vocabulary associated with insanity.The links between madness and a range of other issues are explored including madness, gender, social status, religion and witchcraft, in addition to the attributed causes of derangement such as heredity and alcohol abuse. This is a detailed yet profoundly humane and compassionate study of the everyday experiences of those suffering mental impairments ranging from idiocy to lunacy, and an exploration into the meaning of this for society in the eighteenth century.
Table of Contents
Methodology - Mental Incapacity in the Present and in the Past
Sources and the Law
Patterns of Madness
Being Mad
Being Sane
Mind and Body: The Causes of Insanity
Madness and Religion
The Language of Insanity 1: Words About the Insane
The Language of Insanity 2: The Words of the Insane
Conclusion
Glossary
Bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem