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‘The Most Dreadful Visitation’: Male Madness in Victorian Fiction

Valerie Pedlar


Victorian literature is rife with scenes of madness, with mental disorder functioning as everything from a simple plot device to a commentary on the foundations of Victorian society. But while madness in Victorian fiction has been much studied, most scholarship has focused on the portrayal of madness in women; male mental disorder in the period has suffered comparative neglect. This book corrects this imbalance by exploring a wide range of Victorian writings to consider the relationship between the portrayal of mental illness in literary works and the portrayal of similar disorders in the writ ... More

Keywords: plot device, Victorian society, female madness, doctors' writings, psychologists' writings, Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, Tennyson, Maud, Wilkie Collins

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780853238393
Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013 DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846314186


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Valerie Pedlar, author