Obsession – Alexander Cruden (1739)

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Hannah Allen, the author of last week’s document, knew she suffered from melancholy. In the podcast this week we look at an altogether less sympathetic figure, Alexander Cruden. Cruden  vigorously denied having any psychopathology, though those he encountered found him obsessive and disproportionate, insisting he was the victim of malice and stupidity. His writings show the contested boundaries of madness, as experienced and observed. A Scot by birth, Cruden lived in early Georgian London and had experience of being placed in private madhouses, which provided much of the care for the mentally disordered prior to the 19th century.


An extract from Cruden’s writings can be found here  or you can listen to a voice extract on our soundcloud stream using the link below.

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