Interesting Literature has a Guest Post by Suzanne Shumway that makes me glad to live in this era. Modern medicine has made a difference for so many. We still have miles to travel.
Originally posted on Interesting Literature:
1. Mary Lamb (1764-1847), sister of the essayist, poet, and playwright Charles Lamb. In 1796, Charles checked himself into a private asylum and spent six weeks there, never dreaming that a few months later, his sister would fall victim to a madness so severe that she would kill her own mother in a fit of rage. Although Mary was confined to Fisher House Asylum immediately after the murder, a verdict of lunacy assured that Lamb escaped punishment, and she was eventually released into Charles’s custody. However, she occasionally returned to an asylum when she felt madness coming on.
2. Rosina Bulwer Lytton (1802-1882) was the wife of the immensely popular novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Theirs was a love match, but the relationship hit the skids within eight years of their marriage. When her husband took up with other women, Rosina protested, and the result was a legal separation. The money settled on Rosina was scanty, however, and Bulwer-Lytton refused to come up with more, despite the fact that he was rolling in cash by this point in his career. Rosina took umbrage and found several ways to show her displeasure: the worst was when she appeared in public to denounce Bulwer-Lytton to his constituency when his appointment as Colonial Secretary under Lord Derby was put to the vote. Her outburst spurred Bulwer-Lytton to have her locked up in an insane asylum. Public outcry was so voluble, however, that she was released after three weeks in Dr. Gardiner Hill’s establishment for lunatics. Her grand-daughter was the early 20th-century suffragette and social reformer Constance Lytton.