Witnessing Insanity

Madness and Mad-Doctors in the English Court
Author(s): 
Eigen, Joel Peter
ISBN: 
0300062893
Date published: 
January 1995
Paperback
Price: 
£22.50
Pages: 
272

This intriguing book is the first systematic investigation of the evolution of medical testimony in British insanity trials from its beginnings in 1760 to 1843, when the Insanity Rules were formulated during the trial of Daniel McNaughtan. Based on verbatim testimony of courtroom participants - the ordinary as well as the notorious - the book shows how the conception of madness changed over time, how ambitious defence attorneys began to make use of medical opinion on madness, how the self-proclaimed specialists distanced themselves from lay witnesses, and how defendants offered the court a glimpse of madness 'from the inside' (Foreword by Nigel Walker).