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Shattered Nerves: Doctors, Patients, and Depression in Victorian England

by Oppenheim, Janet

  • ISBN: 9780195057812
  • ISBN10: 0195057813

Shattered Nerves: Doctors, Patients, and Depression in Victorian England

by Oppenheim, Janet

  • List Price: $35.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/2002
  • ISBN: 9780195057812
  • ISBN10: 0195057813
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Description: No Victorian portrait of nervous breakdown is more celebrated than John Stuart Mill's description of his own crisis recounted in his Autobiography. But Mill was only the most notable British Victorian to suffer from "shattered nerves," for depression appears again and again in nineteenth-century history and literature, among men and women of all classes. It was a problem that doctors struggled to understand and treat--largely unsuccessfully. Their debatesover the nature of depression, Janet Oppenheim writes, offer us a unique window on the Victorian mind. In "Shattered Nerves", Oppenheim looks at how British doctors and patients tried to makesense of depression in an era of limited psychological knowledge and intense social prejudices. Ranging from the dawn of the Victorian era to the First World War, she draws on letters, memoirs, medical reports, literature, and many other sources to paint a detailed portrait of the slowly evolving knowledge of mental illness. She reveals how a host of "nerve specialists" searched for the physical causes of mental depression--even the term "nervous breakdown" came from the belief that mentalhealth depended on maintaining supplies of "nerve force," much like recharging a battery. Especially interesting are her rich descriptions of the impact of Victorian prejudices on the ways in whichdoctors and patients viewed depression. Overwork and worries about money and other manly responsibilities were seen as acceptable causes of nervous collapse among men--in contrast to the range of sexual causes, including masturbation, which Victorian doctors frequently found at the root of male mental illness. Women, it was assumed, were naturally prone to hysteria and depression--and if they made the mistake of competing with men or pursuing higher education, then mental derangement was sureto follow. On the other hand, Oppenheim also reveals a number of surprises about Victorian medical thinking: For instance, even though Freud's revolution went largely ignored in Britain before theFirst World War, many physicians considered sexual abstinence to be unhealthy. She also points out that anorexia nervosa was identified as early as 1873 and was extensively discussed before the turn of the century. The nineteenth century was a critical period in the evolution of modern thought about the mind and the body, an era when medical knowledge grew rapidly but human psychology remained enigmatic. In exploring how Victorians addressed this problem, "ShatteredNerves" provides valuable insight into the way they saw their world.
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Seller: Powell's Books Chicago
Location: Chicago, IL
Condition: Very Good
1991. Hardcover. Cloth, d.j. Some shelf-wear. Else clean copy. Very Good. (Subject: Psychology).
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1991. Hardcover. Cloth, d.j. Some shelf-wear. Else clean copy. Very Good. (Subject: Psychology).
Seller: Ergodebooks
Location: Houston,, TX Ask seller a question
Condition: Good
Buy with confidence. Excellent Customer Service & Return policy.Ships Fast. 24*7 Customer Service.
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Buy with confidence. Excellent Customer Service & Return policy.Ships Fast. 24*7 Customer Service.
Seller: Chaparral Books
Location: Portland, OR
Condition: Like New
Dust jacket in mylar is priceclipped and lightly rubbed from storage with
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Dust jacket in mylar is priceclipped and lightly rubbed from storage with
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Seller: Midtown Scholar Bookstore
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Condition: Very Good
Crisp clean w/light shelfwear/edgewear-may have remainder mark Standard-sized.
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Crisp clean w/light shelfwear/edgewear-may have remainder mark Standard-sized.
Seller: Argosy Book Store
Location: New York, NY
Condition: Very Good
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viii + 388pp., 8vo, cloth-backed boards, d.w. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. A very good (+) copy in a very good dust wrapper.
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viii + 388pp., 8vo, cloth-backed boards, d.w. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. A very good (+) copy in a very good dust wrapper.
Seller: Priceless Books
Location: Urbana, IL
Condition: Very Good
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388pp. Index. Wear Boards, Dj lightly scratched.
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388pp. Index. Wear Boards, Dj lightly scratched.
Seller: T. Brennan, Bookseller
Location: ELLSWORTH, ME
Condition: Very Good
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First edition, octavo, pp ix, 388 Very good in the publisher's quarter red
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First edition, octavo, pp ix, 388 Very good in the publisher's quarter red
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Seller: Books on the Boulevard
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Condition: Like New
0195057813. Contents include: Sir James Crichton-Browne, Nerve Force and
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0195057813. Contents include: Sir James Crichton-Browne, Nerve Force and
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Seller: The Book House - Saint Louis
Location: St. Louis, MO
Condition: Like New
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F/F-HC; book is clean with tight binding; jacket with some edgewear; 388 pages.
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F/F-HC; book is clean with tight binding; jacket with some edgewear; 388 pages.
Seller: Murphy-Brookfield Books
Location: Iowa City SE, IA
Condition: Very Good
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Seller: Ground Zero Books Ltd
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Condition: Good
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25 cm, 388, usual library markings Drawing on letters, memoirs, medical
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25 cm, 388, usual library markings Drawing on letters, memoirs, medical
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Seller: One Stop Shop Bookstore
Location: Memphis, TN
Condition: Good
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Seller: JOHN LUTSCHAK BOOKS
Location: BURLINGTON, WI
Condition: Like New
BOOK IS FINE WITHOUT ANY MARKS TO THE BINDING OR THE TEXT. D.J. IS ABOUT FINE
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BOOK IS FINE WITHOUT ANY MARKS TO THE BINDING OR THE TEXT. D.J. IS ABOUT FINE
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Seller: Between the Covers-Rare Books
Location: Gloucester City, NJ
Condition: Very Good
First edition. Near fine in similar dustwrapper with light water stain on rear cover, top edge.
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First edition. Near fine in similar dustwrapper with light water stain on rear cover, top edge.
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