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Witnessing Insanity: Madness and Mad-Doctors in the English Court: Eigen, Joel Peter Witnessing Insanity: Madness and Mad-Doctors in the English Court: Eigen, Joel Peter Witnessing Insanity: Madness and Mad-Doctors in the English Court: Eigen, Joel Peter

Witnessing Insanity: Madness and Mad-Doctors in the English Court

Eigen, Joel Peter

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ISBN 10: 0300062893 / ISBN 13: 9780300062892
Published by Yale University Press, 1995
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Southampton Books (Southampton, NY, U.S.A.)

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New Book. First Edition, First Printing (Full Number Line). NOT a remainder. NOT a book club edition. Published by Yale University Press, 1995. Maroon cloth boards with bright silver stamped spine lettering. Book is new; clean, tight, sharp corners, bright spine lettering. Dust jacket is new. No writing, highlighting, underlining, dog ears, etc. No rips or tears. Pages and boards crisp and straight. Spine un-broken with no spine lean. Book in un-read condition. Octavo. 240 pages. ISBN: 0-300-06289-3. 100% positive feedback. 30 day money back guarantee. NEXT DAY SHIPPING! Excellent customer service. Please email with any questions or if you would like a photo. All books packed carefully and ships with free delivery confirmation/tracking. All books come with free bookmarks. Ships from Sag Harbor, New York. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-5958530143485573323

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Witnessing Insanity: Madness and Mad-Doctors...

Publisher: Yale University Press

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


In 1760 Earl Ferrers attempted to convince his peers in the House of Lords that he was suffering from "occasional insanity" on the day he killed his servant. A medical witness - or mad-doctor - participated in Ferrers's trial, testifying about the symptoms of lunacy. The physician's opinion marked the early stirrings of forensic psychiatry, a form of expert testimony that would eventually challenge the fundamental tenets of criminal responsibility.
This intriguing book by Joel Eigen is the first systematic investigation of the evolution of medical testimony in British insanity trials from its beginnings in 1760 to 1843, when the Insanity Rules were formulated during the trial of Daniel McNaughtan. Based on verbatim testimony of courtroom participants - the ordinary as well as the notorious - the book shows how the conception of madness changed over time, how ambitious defense attorneys began to make use of medical opinion on madness, how the self-proclaimed specialists distanced themselves from lay witnesses, and how defendants offered the court a glimpse of madness "from the inside."
Eigen goes beyond existing accounts of famous trials to analyze the elements and development of the insanity defense in hundreds of ordinary prosecutions ranging from burglary and forgery to sheep stealing. Drawing on recent scholarship on eighteenth-century crime and punishment, he sheds new light on how the legal system adapted to a novel definition of insanity that blurred traditional conceptions of human will, self-control, and criminal responsibility.

About the Author:

Joel Peter Eigen is professor of sociology at Franklin and Marshall College and Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University.

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