skip to content

Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Alison Winter

Note: this is a highly selective bibliography of an enormous literature.

Madness and psychiatry

  • Bynum, W., Porter R., and M. Shepherd (eds), The Anatomy of Madness (3 vols 1985).
  • Ernst, W., 'Asylums in Alien Places: The Treatment of the European Insane in British India', in W.F. Bynum, R. Porter, and M. Shepherd (eds.), Anatomy of Madness: Essays in the History of Psychiatry, 3 vols. (1988), vol. 3, 48–70.
  • Ernst, Waltraud, Mad Tales from the Raj (1991).
  • Goldstein, J., Console and classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century.
  • Harris, R., Murders and Madness (Oxford 1989).
  • Hunter, R., and I. Macalpine, Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry (London 1963).
  • Oppenheim, J., 'Shattered Nerves': Doctors, Patients and depression in Victorian England (Oxford 1991).
  • Scull, A., Madhouses, Mad-doctors and Madmen: The social History of Psychiatry in the Victorian era (Philadelphia 1981).
  • Scull, A., The Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness and Society in Britain 1700–1900 (London 1993).
  • Showalter, E., The female malady: women, madness and English culture 1830–1980 (London 1987).
  • Smith, R., Trial by Medicine: Insanity and Responsibility in Victorian Trials (Edinburgh 1981).

For a historiographic overview of the field, especially on the literature on hysteria see History of Psychiatry, Vol I.

Primary sources

See the Hunter collection of books, catalogue kept in the Rare Books Room at Cambridge University Library. H. F. Ellenberger, Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry (London, 1970) is a particularly rich source of primary material.

Altered states of mind

  • Barrow, L., 'Socialism in Eternity: The Ideology of Plebeian Spiritualists 1853–1913', History Workshop (1980), 37–69.
  • Barrow, L., Independent Spirits: Spiritualism and English Plebeians 1850–1910 (London 1986).
  • Basham, D., The trial of woman: Feminism and the occult science in Victorian Literature and Society (London 1992).
  • Cooter, R., 'Dichotomy and Denial: mesmerism, medicine and Harriet Martineau', in M.Benjamin (ed.), Science and sensibility: gender and scientific enquiry (Oxford 1991).
  • Cooter, R., 'The History of Mesmerism in Britain: Poverty and Promise', in H.Schott (ed.), Franz Anton Mesmer und die Geschichte des Mesmerismus (Weisbaden 1985), 152–162.
  • Falk, D.V., 'Poe and the Power of Animal Magnetism', Publications of the Modern Languages Association (1969), 539.
  • Fuller, R.C., Mesmerism and the American cure of souls (Philadelphia 1982).
  • Oppenheim, J., The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England 1850–1914 (Cambridge 1985).
  • Owen, A., 'Women and Nineteenth Century Spiritualism: Strategies in the Subversion of Femininity', in J. Obelkevich, L. Roper and R. Samuel (eds.), Disciplines of Faith: Studies in Religion, Politics and Patriarchy (London 1987), 130–53.
  • Owen, A., The Darkened Room: Women, Power and Spiritualism in Late Nineteenth Century England (London 1989).
  • Poe, E.A., 'Mesmeric Revelation', Complete Tales of Edgar Allen Poe (New York 1982), 88–95.
  • Richards, G., Mental Machinery, Part 1: The origins and Consequences of Psychological Ideas from 1600–1850 (London 1992).
  • Smith, W.D.A., Under the Influence: 200 Years of Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen (London 1982).

Primary sources

  • The Zoist: A Journal of cerebral physiology and mesmerism (1840s and 1850s).
  • Journal du Magnetism (1840s–1850s).
  • Society for Psychical Research, collection of books and manuscripts at Cambridge University library.
  • Alan Gauld's A History of Hypnotism(Cambridge 1992) has an excellent bibliography of sources on mesmerism and hypnotism.
  • Crabtree, Animal Magnetism, early hypnotism and Psychical Research 1766–1925 (Whipple, ref 385).


  • Cooter, R., The Cultural Meaning of Popular Science: Phrenology and the Organisation of Consent in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge 1984).
  • De Giustiano, D., Conquest of Mind: Phrenology and Victorian Social Thought (London 1975).

Primary source guides

  • Cooter, R., Phrenology in the British Isles: An Annotated Historical Biobibliography and index (Metuchen and London 1989).

Other sources (psychology, statistics, anthropology, evolution)

  • Heyck, T.W., The Transformation of Intellectual Life in Victorian England (London 1982).
  • Kent, C., Brains and Numbers: Elitism, comtism and democracy... (Toronto 1978).
  • Pick, D., Faces of degeneration (Cambridge 1989).
  • Porter, T., The Rise of Statistical Thinking 1820–1900.
  • Richards, G., Mental machinery, Part i: The Origins of Consequences of Psychological Ideas from 1600–1850 (1992).
  • Richards, R.J., Darwin and the emergence of evolutionary theories of mind and behavior (Chicago 1987).
  • Rothblatt, S., The revolution of the dons: Cambridge and society in Victorian England (Cambridge 1981).
  • Stocking, G., Victorian Anthropology.
  • Yeardon, J.D., Herbert Spencer: The evolution of a sociologist (1971).

Primary bibliographies on psychology

  • Sokal, M., and Rafail, P. A., A guide to the MSS collections in the History of Psychology and Related Areas (1982) (Whipple, ref 322).
  • Osnier and Wozniak, Century of Serial Publications in Psychology 1850–1950 (1984) (Whipple, ref 321).