Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris

Author(s): Asti Hustvedt


In 1862 the Salpetriere Hospital in Paris became the epicenter of the study of hysteria, the mysterious illness then thought to affect half of all women. There, prominent neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot's contentious methods caused furore within the church and divided the medical community. Treatments included hypnosis, piercing and the evocation of demons and, despite the controversy they caused, the experiments became a fascinating and fashionable public spectacle. Medical Muses tells the stories of the women institutionalised in the Salpetriere. Theirs is a tale of science and ideology, medicine and the occult, of hypnotism, sadism, love and theatre. Combining hospital records, municipal archives, memoirs and letters, Medical Muses sheds new light on a crucial moment in psychiatric history.

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A groundbreaking new book about the nineteenth century obsession with hysteria, focussing on the renowned Salpetriere Hospital in Paris.

Fascinating and beautifully written Guardian Fascinating ... gives us a disturbing insight into the extent to which doctors, patients and diseases, both then and now, are products of their time Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times Thoughtful and engrossing Miranda Seymour, Daily Telegraph The thoroughly researched, very readable material brings to life their strange and remarkable stories, told in meticulous detail, as well as the brilliance and brutality of the great physician Independent Consistently enthralling Kathryn Harrison, New York Times

Asti Hustvedt is an independent scholar who has written extensively on hysteria and literature. She has a PhD in French literature from New York University, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a Phi Betta Kapa Fellowship. She is the editor of The Decadent Reader: Fiction, Fantasy and Perversion from Fin-de-Siecle France and has published many translations. She lives in New York City.

General Fields

  • : 9781408822357
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : July 2012
  • : 198mm X 129mm X 26mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : September 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Asti Hustvedt
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 616.8581009034
  • : 384