Tuesday 1 January 2013

Locked Up: ‘Patients’ and their Gaolers. 10. Alexander Cruden. Allan Ingram conducts Inner Circle Seminar 187 (10 February 2013)

File:William Hogarth - A Rake's Progress - Plate 8 - In The Madhouse.jpg
William Hogarth    A Rake's Progress
8. In the Madhouse
(Engraving 1735)

Locked Up: ‘Patients’ and their Gaolers

10. Alexander Cruden

Allan Ingram
Inner Circle Seminar No. 187
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 10 February 2013
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Allan Ingram writes:

Alexander Cruden (31 May 17011 November 1770) is best known as the compiler of A Complete Concordance to the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, which he published in 1737/8 and which ran into several editions during his lifetime and after, a work of scholarship that is still in use and still in print. A Scottish Presbyterian, he had moved in 1731 from his native Aberdeen to London where he ran a small bookshop, near the Royal Exchange, and also worked as a corrector of the press. He fell out, however, with various members of his immediate circle, including his neighbours, his landlord and landlady, and other members of his church, and after a series of altercations was committed to Wright’s private madhouse in Bethnal Green, where he was confined for nine weeks, before escaping in May 1738. His pamphlet of protest, The London-Citizen Exceedingly Injured, was published in 1739, part of his campaign for compensation, a campaign that also involved seeking damages of £10,000 in the Court of King’s Bench, an action that he lost. Fourteen years later, in 1753, he was again confined, this time at the instigation of his own sister, Isabella Wild, after becoming involved in a public fracas in the performance of his self-allotted role as ‘Alexander the Corrector’ – the corrector of the nation’s morals. He spent two weeks in Duffield’s private madhouse in Chelsea, and, as in 1739, responded with a pamphlet of protest, The Adventures of Alexander the Corrector, published in 1754 (two further parts were published later in 1754 and in 1755), and, as in 1739, took his claim for compensation to court and again lost.

This seminar will look at the circumstances of Cruden’s confinements, and consider both his treatment while held as a madman and his behaviour and reactions during confinement and in its aftermath, as related in his works of protest. In particular, because of the detail included within the works, it is possible to look at his relations with his gaolers, with those he holds responsible for his confinement, with the medical staff of the establishments – such as they were – and with other inmates.

Allan Ingram is Professor of English at the University of Northumbria and a specialist in literature of the eighteenth century. He has particular interests in the relations between writing and insanity and writing and depression. As well as publications on James Boswell, Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope, he has published The Madhouse of Language (Routledge, 1991), looking at how insanity was written about by both patients and medical professionals, and Cultural Construction of Madness in Eighteenth-Century Writing: Representing the Insane (Palgrave, 2005, with Michelle Faubert), which considers the ways in which insanity was appropriated by mainstream writers. Between 2006 and 2009 he was director of a major research project, ‘Before Depression, 1660-1800’, which was funded by the Leverhulme Trust (see http://www.beforedepression.com/). Publications from this are forthcoming. Melancholy Experience in Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century (Ingram et al.) was published in 2011 by Palgrave, with a major four-volume set of source materials (Wetherall Dickson, Ingram et al.) due to be published by Pickering & Chatto in 2012. He has also published two earlier collections of insanity source materials: Voices of Madness: Four Pamphlets (Sutton, 1997, including Cruden’s The London-Citizen) and Patterns of Madness in the Eighteenth Century (Liverpool University Press, 1998). His edition of Gulliver’s Travels was published by Broadview in February 2012.

Venue: ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £116, others £145, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, mineral water and liquorice allsorts included; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail: stadlen@aol.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/  

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Last Sunday's seminar was a real pleasure. Allan Ingram's warm, relaxed, intelligent, and in-depth exposition of Alexander Cruden, and the relationship of language and "madness", was enjoyable and illuminating. The resulting discussion was cohesive and rewarding. Thank you everyone for a great day! Alison R Noyes