By Lennard J. Davis
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Extra info for Obsession: A History
General concern began to mount as more and more girls, and one man, fell into varying states of confusion. Two days after the mouse-dropping incident, six more girls were seized with ﬁts and convulsions. In this cotton factory of two to three hundred employees, work ground to a halt. Rumors began to spread that a disease had come from something in one of the bags of cotton that had been opened in the factory. By Sunday the eighteenth three more people fell into ﬁts, and by the next day, eleven more.
Yet he describes melancholy as something that includes what we would now call anxiety, paranoia, depression, and delusions. Sir Thomas More, who had been a Carthusian monk before he entered politics, wrote A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation (1553). The thirteenth-century Pope John XXI’s work on madness was translated into English in 1550. The work included folk remedies “against madness,” including roasting a mouse and dissecting and burning a frog. Andrew 41 Chapter One Boorde, a physician but also a Carthusian monk and Bishop of Chichester, wrote on madness in 1552.
This disease is beyond my practice. . ” More needs she the divine than the physician. God. God forgive us all. Look after her. 54, 69–70) Obsession here is in the province of the clerical, and its treatment involves exorcism, not therapy. Indeed, major works on melancholy, for example, tended to be written by divines rather than physicians until the eighteenth century. So the demonic possession model continues. 5 The Protestants banned the idea of possession because the Catholic Church was seen as having the inside track on exorcisms, and banning the idea of possession was in eΩect a way of banning popery in general.