Identifying the insane: madness and marginality in the eighteenth century.

Allan Ingram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the case of Alexander Cruden who published several pamphlets protesting against his wrongful confinement as a madman, in the mid eighteenth century. While Cruden seems to have been badly treated, his textual identification of himself with Alexander the Great and the biblical Joseph, together with his lavish praise of the Duke of Cumberland, make his over-riding claim to sanity suspect. The point of the article is to consider the tenuous position in society of the ‘cured’, or the released ‘madman’, and the extent to which re-absorption seems virtually impossible. The article was described as an ‘extremely interesting and well-written study’ by the anonymous reader for Lumen. It is based on a paper originally given at a conference of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Toronto. Ingram has been an invited speaker at a subsequent conference in Winnipeg (2007).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-157
JournalLumen: Memory and Identity: Past and Present
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002


Dive into the research topics of 'Identifying the insane: madness and marginality in the eighteenth century.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this