Mesmerism, Mental Illness, Psychology, Homeopathy, Medical Practitioners, Gender
Responds to a report in the Homeward Mail of a woman who fell into an 'insensible' state whenever she was in the presence of her husband, even when the latter was 'carefully disguised'. The woman's parents tried to legally separate the couple on grounds of the woman's health. The case was investigated by Dr Cullen and the court concluded that, since the husband 'unconsciously mesmerised' his wife, the couple should be legally separated. Punch doubts the authenticity of the story, not least because it believes 'there are more facts in physiology and psychology than are dreamt of in Incredulity's philosophy'. Notes that homeopaths and mesmerists would recommend that the husband, having involuntarily mesmerised his wife into unconsciousness, should mesmerise her out of it. Believes this is more humane practice than that used by most husbands dealing with their cataleptic wives, and that marital happiness should result from a wife being able to share all her husband's pleasures 'by mesmeric sympathy'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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