The Female Malady

The Female Malady Women, Madness and English Culture 1830-1980

Paperback (07 May 1987)

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Publisher's Synopsis

In this informative, timely and often harrowing study, Elaine Showalter demonstrates how cultural ideas about 'proper' feminine behaviour have shaped the definition and treatment of female insanity for 150 years, and given mental disorder in women specifically sexual connotations. Along with vivid portraits of the men who dominated psychiatry, and descriptions of the therapeutic practices that were used to bring women 'to their senses', she draws on diaries and narratives by inmates, and fiction from Mary Wollstonecraft to Doris Lessing, to supply a cultural perspective usually missing from studies of mental illness.

Highly original and beautifully written, The Female Malady is a vital counter-interpretation of madness in women, showing how it is a consequence of, rather than a deviation from, the traditional female role.

Book information

ISBN: 9780860688693
Publisher: Little, Brown
Imprint: Virago
Pub date:
DEWEY: 616.890088042
DEWEY edition: 19
Language: English
Number of pages: 308
Weight: 220g
Height: 198mm
Width: 125mm
Spine width: 14mm