Guest Blog: Five Nineteenth-Century Inmates of Insane Asylums

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.

Interesting Literature

By Suzanne Shumway

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…

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