This monumental work by one of Ireland’s leading psychiatrists encompasses every psychiatric development from the Middle Ages to the present day, and examines their far-reaching social and political effects. From the “Glenn of Lunatics,” said to cure mental illness, to the overloaded asylums of later centuries, Ireland has had an extensive and often unsettled history in the practice and perception of psychiatry. Kelly’s definitive work examines Ireland’s unique relationship with conceptions of mental illness throughout the centuries, delving into each medical breakthrough and every misuse of authority. Through fascinating archival records, Kelly writes a crisp and accessible history, evaluating everything from individual case histories to the seismic effects of the First World War. Hearing Voices is a marvel that affords incredible insight into Ireland’s social and medical history while providing powerful observations on our current treatment of mental ill health in Ireland.
"A gripping, fascinating tale, told here with elegance, enthusiasm and erudition… a carefully crafted, highly readable, impeccably researched, beautifully illustrated book… the most important social history in more than a decade" —Professor Ivor Browne, Irish Times
"Masterpiece. Monumental in every way." —Dr Maurice Gueret, Sunday Independent
"'A tour de force' by one of Ireland’s leading psychiatrists, encompassing every psychiatric development from the Middle Ages to the present day." —Dr Muiris Houston, Irish Medical Times
"Engaging and accessible… indispensable" —Dr Alice Mauger, History of Psychiatry
About the Author
Brendan Kelly is Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Psychiatrist at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin.