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Psychiatry in the 1870s: Kilvert's Mad Folk

  • Alexander Walk and Edward Hare
Extract

The Reverend Francis Kilvert, whose famous Diary is currently being featured on television, died a hundred years ago, in September 1879. The Diary contains a number of entries relating to mental disorder, occurring for the most part among his parishioners at Clyro in Powis and Bredwardine in Herefordshire, on the Welsh borders, and at Langley Burrell in Wiltshire, but in one or two instances within his own family.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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page 150 note * Extracts from the Diary are reproduced here by permission of the publishers, Messrs Jonathan Cape.

page 150 note * Lishman W. A. (1974). The speed of recall of pleasant and unpleasant experiences. Psychological Medicine, 4, 212–218.

page 151 note ** Dr Charles Stewart Clouston was the local GP and MO to Hay Union. He had qualified at Edinburgh only two years previously, in 1868. He died in 1883, aged 36. I have so far not been able to ascertain whether he was related to his more famous namesake, Thomas, who qualified, also from Edinburgh, in 1860. Abergavenny (Pen-y-Val) was then the nearest asylum, as that at Talgarth (Mid-Wales) had not yet been built. Dr Clouston was a local practitioner, apparently not related to his famous contemporary namesake.

page 151 note * This is the case featured in the TV episode entitled “The Madwoman”, where, however, passages from the other Diary entries have been made use of.

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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0140-0789
  • EISSN: 2514-9954
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Psychiatry in the 1870s: Kilvert's Mad Folk

  • Alexander Walk and Edward Hare
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