‘Madness’ and the supernatural

HistoryExtra podcast


The birth of psychiatry in the early-19th century changed the way that ‘madness’ was understood, with beliefs in the supernatural becoming evidence of insanity. Charlotte Hodgman spoke to Professor Owen Davies about the men and women who found themselves placed in asylums as a result of their supernatural beliefs, and investigates how old beliefs clashed with new ideas in a rapidly changing world.


(Ad) Owen Davies is the author of Troubled by Faith: Insanity and the Supernatural in the Age of the Asylum (Oxford University Press, 2023). Buy it now from Waterstones: https://go.skimresources.com?id=71026X1535947&xcust=historyextra-social-histboty&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.waterstones.com%2Fbook%2Ftroubled-by-faith%2Fowen-davies%2F9780198873006


The HistoryExtra podcast is produced by the team behind BBC History Magazine.

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