James Frame's The Philisophy of Insanity (1860)

Andrews, J. and Philo, C. (2017) James Frame's The Philisophy of Insanity (1860). History of Psychiatry, 28(1), pp. 129-141. (doi: 10.1177/0957154X16671259)

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Our aim in presenting this Classic Text is to foster wider analytical attention to a fascinating commentary on insanity by a former inmate of Glasgow Royal Asylum, Gartnavel, James Frame. Despite limited coverage in existing literature, his text (and other writings) have been surprisingly neglected in modern scholarship. Frame’s Philosophy presents a vivid, affecting, often destigmatising account of the insane and their institutional provision in Scotland. Derived from extensive first-hand experience, Frame’s chronicle eloquently and graphically delineates his own illness and the roles and perspectives of many other actors, from clinicians and managers to patients and relations. It is also valuable as a subjective, but heavily mediated, kaleidoscopic view of old and new theories concerning mental afflictions, offering many insights about the medico-moral ethos and milieu of the mid-Victorian Scottish asylum. Alternating as consolatory and admonitory illness biography, insanity treatise, mental health self-help guide, and asylum reform and promotion manual, it demands scrutiny for both its more progressive views and its more compromised and prejudicial attitudes.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Philo, Professor Christopher
Authors: Andrews, J., and Philo, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:History of Psychiatry
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1740-2360
Published Online:03 February 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in History of Psychiatry 28(1): 129-141
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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