Alexander Cruden, the author of last week’s document, wholly disowned the label of madness. Dionys Fitzherbert also refused to be called insane, arguing in a lengthy account that she was simply experiencing religious turmoil, as did many of the more radical or ‘Puritan’ Protestants of post-Reformation England; she interpreted her experience as a spiritual battle for her soul. A gentlewoman from a privileged background, she (like Hannah Allen) was cared from in domestic settings using medical, spiritual, and psychological methods. In her narrative, physical, mental, and spiritual health were entwined and inseparable: truly holistic.
Listen to an extract of Dionys Fitzherbert’s writings on our soundcloud stream by clicking the link below.