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The diary of a madman, seventeenth-century style: Goodwin Wharton, MP and communer with the fairy world1

  • Roy Porter (a1)

Synopsis

Goodwin Wharton (1653–1704) was a nobleman's son and a Whig MP who played no small part in English public life. His manuscript journal shows, however, that he also lived a bizarre secret life of the mind of a kind which, in later generations, would have led to his confinement as suffering from mental illness. Above all, through the offices of his medium and lover, Mary Parish, he entered into elaborate relations both with the fairy world and with God and His Angels. This paper examines our records of Wharton's consciousness

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2Address for correspondence: Dr Roy Porter, The Welicome Institute for the History of Medicine, 183 Euston Road, London NWI 2BP

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1

This paper is based on the Squibb Lecture, delivered at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, in June 1985.

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References

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The diary of a madman, seventeenth-century style: Goodwin Wharton, MP and communer with the fairy world1

  • Roy Porter (a1)

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