Gender and insanity in nineteenth-century Ireland

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The nineteenth century was a period of considerable social, political, and economic change in Ireland, change that was demonstrated with particular force in relation to the care of the insane. This chapter seeks to examine some of the means through which the insane were re-figured in nineteenth-century Irish society, and looks in particular at popular conceptions of danger, the gender specificity or otherwise of insanity, and the question of celibacy as a precipitating factor in mental illness.The chapter seeks to engage with the ongoing debate in the history of psychiatry over the relative importance of gender as a factor in the admission, treatment, and discharge of the insane.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSex and Seclusion, Class and Custody: Perspectives on Gender and Class in the History of British and Irish Psychiatry
EditorsJonathan Andrews, Anne Digby
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

Publication series

NameClio Medica/The Wellcome Series in the History of Medicine


  • mental illness
  • celibacy
  • Ireland
  • nineteenth-century
  • psychiatry


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