Lifes Introspections Vol IV: A Faint Hearts Plea


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Jealousy is and was considered a feeling consisting of many emotions with no distinct expression. The same thing happened at Broadmoor. It has been shown that jealousy was openly discussed and condemned in the British press and popular literature, and during the latter decades of the nineteenth century its visibility in the medical literature increased. Yet references to the emotion in the Broadmoor case files are rare. Of course, given that jealousy was not a medico-legal category it is not surprising that it rarely appeared on Schedule A.

Jealousy was recorded as a cause of insanity on Schedule A in the cases of only two of the 45 men committed to Broadmoor for the attempted murder or murder of their wives or sweethearts, both in Joseph Cantrill and John Willoughby. He was under the delusion that she had been unfaithful to him. According to medical reports, William Lloyd was epileptic and maniacal, and Matthew Cook was intemperate and had a predisposition to insanity: Superintendent Nicolson was apparently aware of the circumstances surrounding the case; indeed, he had filed 12 pages of newspaper cuttings relating to it.

Echoing the Jacksonian model, Nicolson depicted Marshall as a man whose nervous system had not fully developed; he was missing the highest level and was thus incapable of exercising control: His capacity for reflection and his power of will for self guidance have not been kept in pace with his added years.

He suffers from a moral inability and incapacity which, under ordinary circumstances, need not cause him to act of intemperately or insanely; but which, under any feat of strain or excitement and appeared by the severe headache to which is so liable, end in … active and dangerous insanity and irresponsibility. This is not entirely surprising. By the end of the century alienists tended to attribute insanity to either predisposing or exciting causes.

An insane murderer could have been seen to have a biological weakness that made him more susceptible to being overwhelmed by his passions and emotions, as Nicolson reported Marshall had been. In other cases jealousy was seemingly disregarded as the cause of criminal insanity. Philip Dawe was committed to Broadmoor in At Broadmoor, as in some medical treatises, jealousy was seemingly considered a symptom rather than a cause of insanity. Two reasons might be suggested for this. First, medical staff may have adhered to the broadly ascribed medical notion that jealousy was primarily a female condition.

Perhaps, then, we can see glimpses of attempts to separate female causes of insanity strong passions and emotions and male causes of insanity primarily physical within an asylum setting.

Jealousy in Literature and the Press

Male jealousy was often discussed in the popular press and in fiction, and by laymen and, to a lesser extent, within the courtroom and medical literature in Victorian Britain. To some extent jealousy was amorphous, with contradictory representations presented in these different arenas, but some commonalities existed. Two distinct causes of male jealousy have been highlighted: While clearly demarcated, they were equally dangerous.

Some authors of fiction, social commentators, and journalists shared these understandings and represented jealousy as a negative passion that was liable to cause madness and violence. However, some alienists considered jealousy to be a symptom of disorder rather than a cause. An examination of the sources indicates that ideas about jealousy crossed national borders in the nineteenth century. This is because different national social and legal contexts make for different emotional regimes.

The medico-legal emphasis on physical and hereditary explanations of disease in insanity defences meant that these, rather than feelings or emotions, were given centre stage in the courtroom. Three reasons might be suggested for this.

First, asylum doctors may have ignored male jealousy because they believed the passion primarily affected females. In popular literature, jealousy was remedied through the realisation that a suspicion was wrong, but in real-life cases jealousy seemingly required an underlying physical cause to justify treating the patient in Broadmoor.

I would like to thank the following for commenting on different versions of this work: Earlier versions of this work were presented at the Society for the Social History of Medicine Conference and the North American Conference on British Studies , and this article benefited immensely from the thought-provoking questions posed by attendees of each of these events.

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She currently teaches at QMUL, and blogs about her research at www. Routledge, , — Bucknell University Press, For recent considerations of the emotions, the History of Emotions Blog: Male Madness in Victorian Fiction Liverpool: Yale University Press, ; Barbara Rosenwein, ed. A Cultural History London: Open University Press, Historical Perspectives on Child Murder and Concealment, — , ed.

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Work drawing upon OBPO is vast. Essays in the History of Psychiatry , 3 vols London: The Athlone Press, , — Edinburgh University Press, Hart and Maria Legerstee, eds, Handbook of Jealousy: Theory, Research, and Multidisciplinary Approaches Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, , 7—26, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, , Medicine, the Novel, and Female Insanity, — Oxford: Dale, The Ten Commandments London: Hodder and Stoughton, , Fowler, , Charles Griffin and Company, , VI, Chicago University Press, , —6, —6.

Chatto and Windus, ; Trollope, He Knew , Cambridge University Press, ; Belenky, Anxiety. Pearson Education Ltd, , 27— The Stereotyping of Violence in England, c. Yale University Press, , 53— Arden Shakespeare, , John Churchill, , 29; William A. De La Rue, , Practical and Clinical London and New York: Routledge, —88 , VIII , 71—, Cambridge University Press, , 75—6. John Murray, , Its Forms Apparent and Obscure London: Some alienists believed Shakespeare accurately described the passions: Hurd and Houghton, , 9, Clarendon Press, , — Culture, Law and Policy in England, — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, , Eyre and William Spottiswoode, , Longman, Green and Co.

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Weidenfeld and Nicolson, Cuthbert Hadden, Are You Married? Morison Brothers, , Verso, , , Clarendon, , 5— This opinion was expressed in other cases. Insanity and Responsibility in Victorian Trials Edinburgh: The Athlone Press, , —77, Wiener, Men of Blood , Hart and Maria Legerstee eds, Handbook of Jealousy: Wiley-Blackwell, , 40—54, Free Association Books, , Yale University Press, , Princeton University Press, , Wood, Passion , Ashgate, , National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.

Published online May 7. Abstract This article compares the representations of jealousy in popular culture, medical and legal literature, and in the trials and diagnoses of men who murdered or attempted to murder their wives or sweethearts before being found insane and committed into Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum between and Jealousy in Literature and the Press By the mid-nineteenth century, jealousy, a powerful theme since the Greek classics, had long been condemned.

Jealousy in Medical and Scientific Literature An examination of Victorian medical texts and articles published in The Lancet and the Journal of Mental Science demonstrates that in comparison to authors of fiction and journalists, alienists and moral philosophers had little to say about jealousy until the late nineteenth century, and even then some physicians perceived a lack of discussion of the emotion.

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Find Life's Introspections by L. Dwight Lewis at Blurb Books. One is invited to Life's Introspections. Vol IV: A Faint Heart's Plea. by L. Dwight. Life's Introspections Vol IV: A Faint Heart's Plea by L. Dwight Lewis. Price: $ USD. Words: 7, Language: English. Published: March 10, Categories: .

Millingen believed jealousy affected all classes but that working-class men were particularly susceptible: Real-life Crimes and Trials Newspapers regularly reported supposedly doting men murdering or attempting to murder their wives and sweethearts, and street literature often explicitly displayed male jealousy. In it was declared in the Journal of Mental Science that passion should never be used as a defence: In John Charles Bucknill wrote: Broadmoor It has been shown that jealousy was openly discussed and condemned in the British press and popular literature, and during the latter decades of the nineteenth century its visibility in the medical literature increased.

Conclusion Male jealousy was often discussed in the popular press and in fiction, and by laymen and, to a lesser extent, within the courtroom and medical literature in Victorian Britain.