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  • Manchester History of Medicine x
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The moron as an immoral sinner and an object of protection

, however, dysgenic marriage (or reproduction) was profane. Even before the turn of the century, Kate Wells had written that ‘[t]he marriage of deaf-­mutes is [a] “physiological sin”, as such crimes have been well termed’.49 The Canadian physician and advocate of eugenics Helen MacMurchy added that it was a ‘sacrilege’ that the ‘holy duties’ of motherhood, which was the highest of all professions, were profaned by allowing feeble-­minded women to have children.50 She added, several pages later, that it was a ‘sin’ to allow feeble-­minded persons ‘to raise up children in

in Framing the moron
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, and in some cases ‘sacred’ or rarefied spaces will be revisited in this book. In his 1901 book, Le rites de passage , published in English as The Rites of Passage ( 1960 ), French ethnographer Arnold Van Gennep explored the practice of religion and social ritual through the organisation of space, specifically the spatial transition between profane and sacred, that is liminal space ( 1960 ). In this book, the lunatic asylum will be examined as a dedicated and protected (sacred) space, for which admission involved a complex series of bureaucratic and cleansing

in An archaeology of lunacy
Eighteenth-century satirical prints

and of the surface of the skin (its smoothness or wrinkles, the shape of the muscles, flesh tones, etc.) were clearly charged with meaning. Two different bodies of work associated with two distinct aesthetic currents illustrate the range of interpretations and modes of pictorial transcription related ot the belly. While some subjected the stomach to codes of representation based on the idealised body of Italian Renaissance painters, others presented a profane vision of the body that did not shy away from detailing its physical imperfections and its deformities

in Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century
Social progressivism and the transformation of provincial medicine

corpse on the table covered by a sheet. I had an awe of death, and of the cold and livid ruin which it had made. I sat down in silence. I 140 Performing medicine waited perhaps an hour. What thoughts passed through my mind! Then suddenly entered a group of initiated students. They stripped the sheet from the subject. It was a female form. The conversation jarred upon my ears – wrung my heart. It was jesting, ribald, even profane. Even the Professor . . . said nothing to rebuke this tone. My blood was almost curdled in my veins. At that moment I could not conceive it

in Performing medicine
Politics, reform and the demise of medico-gentility

were the Grays, led by the solicitor, William, his wife, Faith, and their son, Jonathan. Together, this heterogeneous group made a significant impact on the social and political landscape of early nineteenth-century York, founding such morally and socially reforming societies as the Anti-Slavery Society, the Auxiliary Bible Society, the Missionary and Religious Tract societies, and the Society for the Prevention and Discouragement of Vice and Profaneness. 92 Performing medicine There was also a more overtly political dimension to this movement. Early nineteenth

in Performing medicine
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Conduct of Patients, sanctioned by the mangers to be hung in Day Rooms Whoever shall break windows, or is in other respects mischievous shall have the arms secured. Whoever shall offer violence to any person shall have the arms secured and shall be subjected to solitary confinement. Whoever uses profane, scurrilous or indecent language shall be degraded to the Frantic Ward. The managers of the asylums whose views are amply secured by the conduct of the moral manager

in An archaeology of lunacy
Managing madness in New Jersey

the delusion that his wife was having ‘criminal connection with every person who comes to the house or lives in the neighbourhood, black or white’. 30 This jealousy led him to threaten his wife with violence, and to make several attempts at suicide. In another common context, violent displays were linked to concentrated outbursts of insanity. For example, all of Phenon S.'s violent behaviour, whether it involved swearing profanely, threatening to kill relatives or to destroy her clothing, was attributed by friends and neighbours to her ‘fits of violent passion

in Madness on trial
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Noses on sale

. 111 Pulter paints the Parliamentarian army as full of the over-reaching lower classes intent on inversion of the proper social order: elsewhere, she refers to their ‘profan[ing]’ St Paul's Cathedral, and parallels them with the moneychangers in the temple (Matthew 21:12), as a despised group of ‘those which sold and bought’. 112 In a hospitality framework that privileged the gift, the reduction of service and goods to a commodity exchange devalued their symbolic potential. 113 Pulter's offer to Davenant carries greater value because there is no money involved

in Rhinoplasty and the nose in early modern British medicine and culture
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addition of a gate lodge to asylum grounds, with the associations those buildings had with country-house architecture, lent a level of gravitas and decorum to the asylum landscape, for visitor’s eyes only. Van Gennep’s description of a liminal space, as a space between the sacred and profane which was necessary for the cleansing or preparation of a subject ( 1960 : 1), may be applied to the entrance space of the asylum, overseen by the gate lodge. This was the first phase of the admission ‘ritual’, in which the prospective patient would separate themselves from the

in An archaeology of lunacy