On the Bookshelf: Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise

Sarah Wise’s 2012 book Inconvenient People: Lunacy,Liberty and the Victorian Mad-Doctors explores the real-life stories that inspired the well-worn Victorian cliché of the sane woman carted off to a lunatic asylum by scheming relatives. Inconvenient People’s most startling revelation is that in almost all cases the wrongfully incarcerated asylum inmates were men. The idea of the woman in peril was just as titillating to the Victorians as it is to us, but in those days only men had money, and money was the main motivator for wrongfully declaring someone a lunatic. Continue reading