Lyttleton Stewart Forbes Winslow.

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Murderer (right-band figure) previous to his trial feigning insanity ; walking arm in arm
with a demented patient in the asylum grounds.







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When in Paris a short time ago, my attention was directed
to the statue of PINEL, the distinguished and kind
physician, who died there in 1826.

He was the first French physician to introduce the
merciful treatment of the insane into his own country.

The statue represents Pinel removing the manacles from
the 'wrists of the inmates of Salpitriere, to which Hospital
he ivas attached, and whose statue is erected in its vicinity.

To my father, in England, belongs the honour of
establishing the plea of insanity in criminal cases, and
together with Dr. Conolly, in initiating the same kind and
humane treatment as that inaugurated by their French
colleague. They established a loving, persuasive, and
gentle treatment of the insane, instead of bolts, bars,
chains, and manacles, which previous to this had been used
as the only remedial agents.

The University of Oxford was not behind in recog-
nising this by conferring the greatest distinction possible,
the Hon. D.C.L. of that University, upon my father.

The works of such men live after them. " Exegi
monumentum are perennius," might be said of these
great and good men.

Gratitude and immortal honour rest on the memory of
these physicians. Philanthropy was never directed to a
more Christian and deserving cause, and grateful nations
recognise this.

To the memory of these revered psychologists this book
is dedicated in affectionate remembrance by the Author.


SOME years ago I published a book entitled
Mad Humanity.

In the preface introducing this book, I men-
tioned the fact of my intention at a later date
of writing a book on The Insanity of Passion
and Crime.

I have now completed this work. It is
the result of great practical experience, and
deals with the matter, I trust, in a sufficiently
clear and comprehensible manner to be under-
stood by the lay reader for whom the book
is intended.

I have avoided, beyond merely casually
alluding to certain medical matters, discussing
any of these in extenso.

The various cases given are good illustrations
of the subject matter. They prove, as practical
examples generally do, the correctness of views
and conclusions arrived at as a consequence.
Every form of passion described by me I consider
as a " tragedy " : hence the adoption of the name
previous to discussing the same. As to the
photographs : the collection is a most unusual
and an unique one. Many are taken in the actual


objective attitude of the individual patients,
thus showing the exact descriptive nature of the

To the courtesy and kindness of Dr. Bertillon,
Directeur des Recherches Anthropome*triques,
Prefecture de Police, Paris, and to Dr. Magnan,
the illustrious head of St. Anne's Asylum, Paris,
I am indebted for many of the photographs
produced. For those relating to the motor
bandits and their imitators I have to thank
M. Jules He"derman of Le Matin, who had them
specially struck off for me.

The photographs are sad, as illustrating fallen
humanity; they are instructive, as actually
depicting the very types which it is my intention
to describe, and I beg to represent them as such.
They speak for themselves and are a warning, I
hope, to many, and a terrible reflection to others,
especially those illustrating alcoholic criminality.

In conclusion, I bring this book to the notice
of the sane world, to show the terrible effects
of abnormality in its various phases.


M.B., LL.D. Cantab., D.C.L. Oxon.


The human mind Plato on immortality Small voice of
conscience Stigma of insanity Misguided notion
of insanity Insanity of vice Erroneous views of
insanity Disordered passions Three divisions of
the passions Moral insanity Partial moral per-
versions A perfectly healthy mind Reason in crime
and in madness Susceptibility of minds varies
Virtue Virtue subservient to will power Instinct
Insanity often originates in physical disorder
Antagonising passions in the treatment of insanity
Pride Emulation Ambitious ideas a symptom of
insanity Sudden joy sometimes causes insanity
Ambition Stoicism Vanity The pride of woman
Bohemian and artistic eccentricity a vanity The
deformed and dwarfed are vain Various types of
vain persons Vanity even on the scaffold Anger
Unchecked anger and its consequences Physical
signs of anger Diseases provoking anger Revenge
Disease of brain from anger Revenge
unsatisfied Hatred Envy Jealousy Madness
and anger alike Hope A great solace in disease
Consumption and hope Trusting in Providence
Disappointed hope Erroneous ideas respecting the
same Relations mistrusted Exalted hope frus-
trated Confidence Cases illustrating this Effect
of confidence during epidemics Faith Prayer and
patience Joy The Bible on its influence Physical
signs of joy Joy and hope intermingled Fear
Cures effected by fear Dread forebodings Dread re-
sponsible for contagion Apprehension Renders the
body susceptible to disease Hair turned from black
to white by sudden fright Potency of charms,
their power Insanity cured by sudden fright Folie
de doute a common complaint Want of con-




fidence and control Cases illustrative of it Case
of morbid apprehension in a doctor Anxiety
Gambling Monte Carlo types of gamblers In-
tellectual covetousness Fiction Conceit Love .
Influence of love Blighted love Suicides from love
Power of beauty Passion for drink Melancholy
Moroseness Apathy Emotions Nostalgia
The Swiss a susceptible nation Suicide of one
Jealousy Remorse Youthful precociousness . 3-64


Premonitions of crime and insanity Leading indications
of insanity Hallucinations of hearing Obeying
imaginary voice leads to murder The ingress of
criminal insanity Popular view as to insanity
Ingress of criminal insanity Distinction between
insanity and reason Line separating insanity from
reason Religious insanity Its symptoms Growth
of criminal insanity Division of special symptoms
Bodily functions Important functional forewarnings
Functions of the mind Neglect of recognition of
important indications Eccentricity not madness
Crime a diseased condition Physical indications of
criminality Mental abnormality without physical
signs Ingress of crime Love of mischief Distinc-
tion between a criminal act and an insane one Apathy
to danger identical in criminal or lunatic Important
symptoms in criminal insanity Ignorance Want
Corruption A bad symptom in children Cruelty to
animals a forerunner of suicide Criminal insanity
connected with perverseness in habits Passionate-
ness Inherited Natural and abnormal passion
Weakness Deficient will power leads to crime
Power of imitation Imitators of Eugene Aram
Craving for notoriety The force of imitation Mental
epidemics Of superstition Of Mahommedanism
Of fanaticism Of chastisement Of the dancing
mania Of demonomania Of suicide Of voluntary
mutilation Misdirected strength Fanaticism
Coolness of murderers Argument used in justifica-
tion of crime Special deficiency Compunctious
horrors Murderers appeal to the Deity Criminal
indecision Insane criminals as cowards Criminal
propensities Moral consciousness Test of re-
sponsibility Unwillingness of lunatic to admit his
irresponsibility Moral perception Sane on every
point but one General perception Indifference. of
lunatics to crime Instinctive insanity Self-control
in the insane Lunatics sometimes open to reason
Lord Shaftesbury defines a lunatic .... 67-107




Dean Swift describes his recovery from madness Life
without reason The pathos of mental collapse
Madness makes no discrimination Human instinct
never fails Nebuchadnezzar driven to eat grass
Our inference therefrom Correlation of the passions
Passions like a machine soon put out of order
Passions uncontrolled by reason Gratification of
animal wants Of the passions The wealthy and
the pauper sensualist Restraint of the passions
Indulgence in passions The limit to Use and abuse
of passions Reason beyond control Folly Reason
contends with passion Evidence of insanity in some
cases most masked Acts of insanity multiply Drug-
taking a first symptom Struggle between passion
and reason Insane excesses uncontrollable Morbid
indulgence The superiority of reason Indulgence
to excess in passion Young clergyman driven mad
by drink Recovery therefrom Right and wrong
Crucial tests of the same Judges fail to discrimin-
ate Neglected consequences Graduality of criminal
insanity Vindictiveness The barometer of morals
Difference of thefts by poor and by rich The moral
offender Passion in children Reason Self-pre-
servation conspicuous in the animal world The
instinct of reason Of the child Of the animal
Effect of solitude on the mind Development of the
will Effect of physical restraint Exercise of reason
in early life Excessive self-indulgence Smoking
Struggle between volition and reason Insanity of
children a painful subject Pathos of old age Mind
gradually decays Follies of old age Arrest of
virility Body withers up Marriage of old dotage
Old age more painful to the associates than to the
individual himself Contentment in old age as
second childhood approaches 111-158


Latent insanity Confine between sanity and madness
Concealment of delusions The grave result of this
temporary derangement of brain Case of sudden
insanity and its subsidence Case of sudden homi-
cide in a woman Absence of all premonitory symp-
toms The abnormal brain Brains of criminals after
execution Negative results Human brain Its
weight Comparison with that of animals Negro's
want of intelligence shows itself in his brain Size of
skull and large brain no criterion of intelligence



Brain : its weight in insanity Cerebral localisation
Dr. Brown-Sequard's views and conclusions on this
Quantity versus quality of brain Abnormal judg-
ment Masked insanity Deception practised on
commissioner in lunacy by asylum patient Confes-
sion of murder by a lunatic woman of her own free
will Madwoman drowns her three children Non-
admission of symptoms of insanity in person examined
Case of delusions of persecution and suspicion
Precocious school-boy breaks down mentally
Woman kills her child without any premonitory
symptoms Confesses Cruelty to children often an
obscure mental symptom A woman kills three chil-
dren No premonitory symptoms Graphically and
coherently describes her murderous actions Solicitor
charged with criminal offence Grandiose ideas bad
symptom in insanity Temporary insanity in
magistrate Misery and crime connected with the
non - detection of incipient insanity Pinel and
Salpe"triere Hospital, Paris Description of cases
seen in an asylum ward Solidarity of the mind
Physical manifestations Morbid perceptions Cases
to illustrate the same Monomania and its leading
forms Theomania Demonomania Pantophobia
Hypochondriacal monomania Erotomania
Dypsomania Pyromania Kleptomania Suicidal
monomania Homicidal monomania Criminal re-
sponsibility Softening of the brain more common
than formerly Symptoms of brain-softening The
love of life Napoleon and the dying French
marshal 161-202


Statistics of crime and lunacy A mad world in three
hundred years Statistics to show this Insanity
undetected in prisons Prisoners convicted though
insane Non-recognition of insanity in prisons
Prisoners convicted more than once before real
mental state is recognised Abnormal symptoms in
prison Uncertainty of criminal law in America
Murderers at large Effect of imprisonment on
abnormal minds Influence of solitary confinement
on the mind Incurable insanity produced by this
Mistaken view of insanity The healthy mind :
its essentials, mental and bodily Brain like the
body requires nourishment Mental apathy the
result of imprisonment Case to illustrate this
Insanity varies in degree Line of demarcation
between criminals and lunatics obscure Percentage



of prisoners whose mental state is doubtful Prison
discipline may cause insanity Partial insanity in
prisoners Restraint of freedom of whatever character
depresses mind and body Obscure mental symptoms
in prisoners Discrimination in treatment of prisoners
Strange case of criminal insanity Cases occupy-
ing a neutral line between reason and insanity
Illustrations of the same Doubtful sanity in prisoners
Broadmoor Criminal Asylum not for doubtful cases
Advantages of an institution between a prison and
asylum Discrepancies between laws for rich and
poor Reasons for crime in the poor Inequality in
sentences Ignominy in the higher classes of society
Struggle between reason and excess Indulgence
in latent passion a cause of crime Criminals antici-
pate escape from detection Dislike to prosecute in
many instances Inequality of sentences Classifica-
tion of criminals Danger of raising the plea of
insanity 205-243


Forewarnings of insanity in children Statistics of insanity
in children Insanity rare in children The age when
it generally shows itself in children Premonitory
symptoms Intermediate residential schools required
Distinction between a naughty child and an
abnormal one Means to prevent crime in children
Cruelty Obstinacy Moroseness Solitude I rrita-
bility and peevishness Obscenity Dishonesty
Keeping the change Sadness Excitement Habits
Morality Arson Nervous muscular twitchings
Certain anomalies should prohibit school-life The
danger of not recognising this Over-pressure in
children Dizziness A precursor of epilepsy Grave
consequences follow passion The recklessness of
children Exaggeration in children Talented chil-
dren Earliest age in which insanity has evinced itself
in children Musical prodigies Cases of insanity
combined with crime in children Power of heredity
in children Premonitory symptoms of heredity in
children Suicide in children Cases illustrating this
Danger of the non -recognition of premonitions
Drunken parents often responsible Malformation of
the body often seen in insane children The preco-
cious child Mistaken ideas concerning the same
Certain diathesis responsible for disease Mental
training of youthful abnormality Environment with
children Teacher's duties Genius and madness
Training of youths Elevation of youthful tendencies 247-275




Woman's life a drama The abnormal woman Female
brain Development of the same Increase of crime
and insanity in women Women more liable to
insanity than men Statistics of female insanity
Chief varieties of madness in women The klepto-
maniac woman Impulsive thefts Premeditated
thefts Static melancholia in women Women with
morbid religious ideas Criminal woman worse than
criminal man Abnormal criminal woman Forma-
tion of heads Women during the French Commune
Revolution " Pe"troleuses" and their mad impulses
Case of woman driven mad during the French Revolu-
tion Proportion of insanity with regard to thesexes
Drunkenness in woman Women in society as chief
drinkers Maternal instinct responsible for women's
crimes Infanticide and reasons for it False accusa-
tions by women Hysteria in women associated with
crime Total indifference to husband's wishes Sel-
fishness in women Its results Neglect of home a
symptom of insanity Puerperal cases in women
Folie circulaire in women Percentage of recoveries
in women The normal woman The position she
should hold Man impedes her progress Man's
mistaken notion of woman Woman's determination
in life Learned professions open to women Material
and spiritual relations of woman A perfect woman
Description of the same The position woman holds
in creation The ancients' notion of the two sexes
Harsh voice in woman The effect on man Female
opinion and its weight Woman rules man Rights
of woman Celibacy The typical old maid Educa-
tion of women The injustice of interfering with her
Women competing with men



Crime, drink, and insanity inseparable Peculiarities of
heredity in transmitting diseases Children resemble
parents Which child is most likely to be affected by
heredity Which child is the strongest mentally
Power of heredity in producing insanity Alarming
heredity statistics of insanity Influence of heredity
in London's lunatics Statistics of the same The
most common mental inheritances When heredity
evinces itself How heredity shows itself Infantile
abnormalities Gross ignorance in parents in not
recognising the same Ignorance of a judge in "deal-
ing with a homicidal case Heredity traceable in many
families Drink and heredity Children of drunkards


either mad or drunkards themselves Burton's views
on drunkenness Idiots the result of drunkenness
Crime and heredity Inherited greatness of lunatics
and criminals Effects of hereditary nature of crime
and drink Heredity affects members of families in
different ways Interchangeableness in diseases
Correlation of morbific force in disease When
hereditary disease wears itself out Predisposition
very liable to be influenced by exciting causes The
hereditary nature of suicide The law of hereditary
transmission Sins of the fathers fall upon the
children Insanity from heredity occurs at the same
age in mother and child Cases of hereditary suicide
Father generally responsible for a deformed or abnormal
child Mental horror of this Imprudent marriages
Certain family peculiarities and characteristics due
to heredity Case of brilliant classical scholar who
became mad His five children were all insane or
dissolute The psychology of monarchs Inherited
politics Mad kings innocuous Compared to mad
politicians Heredity as conveyed by father and
mother individually Records of such cases Results
of heredity in imprudent marriages Peculiarities
of monarchs due to heredity from intermarriages
Same in secluded and stationary tribes London's
inhabitants as they appeared to a foreigner Statistics
of relationship between patients confined in asylums
Further statistics bearing on the question Trans-
mission of heredity Heredity the most important
factor in producing disease Heredity must advance
until civilisation improves 3 1 7-350


Statistics of 2457 cases of insanity distributed among
the sexes and divided into decades, showing the
period and sex in which each is most liable to occur.
In this table insanity is divided into three great
divisions, in which every variety is classified . . 351-352



The Human Mind. The mind is indeed a won-
drous and awful thing. It is an enigma. Those
who have deeply studied its phenomena and
who have regarded the scope with which it
conceives and accomplishes, its intimacy with
the Deity or the Demon, must admit this. The
beauty with which its God has once endowed it ;
the depravity to which the wiles of Satan have
reduced it ; the thrill of happiness or the agony
of remorse with which conscience, the essence
of the soul, is blessed or agitated, as piety or
sin have swayed its actions ; and, above all, the
final state to which it will be welcomed or
doomed in its everlasting existence, is for ever
uppermost in our thoughts.

Since Plato discoursed on immortality, and
deduced his chief argument, even for the exist-
ence of a Deity, from the nature of the mind,
the unfolding of its constitution and faculties
has been discussed by philosophers of all ages.
Some of the ancient writers affirmed the soul to
be a subtle matter composed of one or more
of the elements ; others believed in its immateri-
ality. The passions, like perturbed spirits,


dragging reason from her path, the life of man
becomes an " Intelligence fallen from its high
estate." How frequently, alas! is the organic
stimulus triumphant, although the still, small
voice of conscience is for ever whispering in
our ear, " Life is a battle, of which our goal is
heaven" !

The Stigma of Insanity. Insanity is frequently
so closely allied to crime that some imagine that
sin and madness are one and the same. How
often do we see, especially among the higher
classes of society, a repugnance to let the world
know that any of its members can in any
way be regarded as being irresponsible agents !
Many a scion of a noble house prefers that
a son and heir may be branded as a criminal
rather than a lunatic, and hi many instances
which have come under my personal observa-
tion they have allowed imprisonment to take
place rather than that a plea of insanity should
be raised, even in cases when the evidence
and history of the accused warranted this being

Their eyes are doubtless opened when they
find their relatives pronounced by the surgeon
of the prison to be of unsound mind, and after
a transfer to Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic
Asylum has taken place and a subsequent diffi-
culty to obtain a release after sanity has evinced
itself, even then, in many cases, this fails to
convince them of their mistaken" judgment ;
whilst a second offence, after liberation, will not


induce them to acknowledge that their progeny
is an irresponsible individual. It is considered,
therefore, by many that madness is far more
repugnant and disgraceful than sin. They appar-
ently forget that insanity is as much a disease
as consumption. It is a visitation of God.
Whereas sin, except when allied to insanity and
therefore the effect of this, is a wilful commit-
ment of an illegal act which not only brings
disgrace on the perpetrator of the offence, but
is a sad and lasting reflection on the family

The Insanity of Vice. Some have supposed
that insanity is an involuntary viciousness ;
but it implies a very superficial notion of the
subject that leads to such a supposition. In-
sanity is a disease, and a disease, too, not only
of the mind, but also of the body. As to
insanity being an " involuntary viciousness,"
such a phrase is both a contradiction in terms
and a solecism in morals. It is an intellectual
absurdity. There is no doubt that an immoral
life leads to insanity as one among the number
of its many rueful deserts ; but it does so by
leading to organic changes in the brain, the
result of organic excesses. The nearest approach
to involuntary viciousness is hysteria, which
seems to be a pathological suspension of the will ;
but hysteria is a peculiar disease, nor would one
venture to affirm that hysteria and insanity are
one and the same. The criminal, who violates
the law, designs his breach of it for a particular


end, under the presumptive belief that he will
be clever enough to elude the penalty due to his
transgression ; such a man is not a lunatic, but
a culprit.

Disordered Passions. Besides the intellect
which may become deranged, there are likewise
the passions or affections which are liable to
their own particular disorders and excesses. It
is admitted that mania, dementia, and idiocy
are disorders or excesses of the intelligence.
Those of the passions may be included under
three headings :

1. Pride, which includes emulation, ambition,
anger, envy, hatred, and malice.

2. Desire, which comprises covet ousness, lust,
theft, and parsimony.

3. Apathy, which embraces the negative, but
not less dangerous, emotions of aversion, dislike,
misanthropy, and solitariness.

The criminal is one whose pride, desire, or
apathy is neither less nor weaker, neither
stronger nor more powerful, than that of other
men ; only through his neglect of self-govern-
ment, or from the uncontrollable stimulus of
disease, the one or other of these three energetic
motives of action run wild and loose, till they
end in the perpetration of more crimes, errors,
and failings which the history of mankind fully

Without passion man is an emotionless statue ;
for it is passion properly regulated and properly
conceived that binds society together in one


family ; whereas, it is passion in excess and
unrestrained that actually is, or else leads to,

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Online LibraryLyttleton Stewart Forbes WinslowThe insanity of passion & crime → online text (page 1 of 21)