Neo-Victorian Madness

Rediagnosing Nineteenth-Century Mental Illness in Literature and Other Media

  • Sarah E. Maier
  • Brenda Ayres

About this book


Neo-Victorian Madness: Rediagnosing Nineteenth-Century Mental Illness in Literature and Other Media investigates contemporary fiction, cinema and television shows set in the Victorian period that depict mad murderers, lunatic doctors, social dis/ease and madhouses as if many Victorians were “mad.” Such portraits demand a “rediagnosing” of mental illness that was often reduced to only female hysteria or a general malaise in nineteenth-century renditions. This collection of essays explores questions of neo-Victorian representations of moral insanity, mental illness, disturbed psyches or non-normative imaginings as well as considers the important issues of legal righteousness, social responsibility or methods of restraint and corrupt incarcerations. The chapters investigate the self-conscious re-visions, legacies and lessons of nineteenth-century discourses of madness and/or those persons presumed mad rediagnosed by present-day (neo-Victorian) representations informed by post-nineteenth-century psychological insights.  


neo-victorian literature mental illness neo-victorian television neo-victorian film madness studies nineteenth-century Victorian literature insanity in literature and culture

Editors and affiliations

  • Sarah E. Maier
    • 1
  • Brenda Ayres
    • 2
  1. 1.University of New BrunswickSaint JohnCanada
  2. 2.Liberty UniversityLynchburgUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-46581-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-46582-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site