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IdiocyA Cultural History$
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Patrick McDonagh

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310959

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315367

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The problem of the feebleminded: the Royal Commission, eugenics and eternal chaos

The problem of the feebleminded: the Royal Commission, eugenics and eternal chaos

Chapter:
(p.309) Chapter 13 The problem of the feebleminded: the Royal Commission, eugenics and eternal chaos
Source:
Idiocy
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846315367.014

This chapter sets Joseph Conrad's novel The Secret Agent (1907) against the 1908 report from the Commission on the Feeble-Minded to explore the symbolic work of idiocy in this discourse. The chronological focus ranges from the late 1860s up to the 1913 Mental Deficiency Act, which grew out of the recommendations of the 1908 report.

Keywords:   Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent, idiocy, Commission on the Feeble-Minded, Mental Deficiency Act

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