The construction of Robert Fergusson's illness and death

Brown, R. (2014) The construction of Robert Fergusson's illness and death. In: Coyer, M. J. and Shuttleton, D. E. (eds.) Scottish Medicine and Literary Culture, 1726-1832. Series: Clio medica: perspectives in medical humanities (94). Rodopi: Amsterdam. ISBN 9789042038912

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This article charts the biographical, fictional and medical constructions of Robert Fergusson’s (1750-74) illness and death from the late eighteenth to the twenty-first century. Fergusson died at the age of 24 in Edinburgh’s Asylum for Pauper Lunatics. Because of this sad fact, commentators have become preoccupied with the legend of his illness and death. In this article, I analyse the changing attitudes towards Fergusson’s illness throughout the centuries by interrogating biographical constructions, fictional imaginings and modern diagnoses of his condition, in order to reflect on changing attitudes towards mental illness and artistic creativity.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brown, Dr Rhona
Authors: Brown, R.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature

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