Shirley Hall Asylum: or, the Memoirs of a Monomaniac.
edited by the author of "Dives and Lazarus," "The Weaver's Family," "Margaret Meadows"...London: William Freeman, 1863 Stock Code: 108827
First edition, William Michael Rossetti's copy, with his ownership inscription dated 1865, of this very scarce imaginary study of hypothetical psychoses. At once a gothic-fantastical Victorian novel and a serious psychiatric investigation, Shirley Hall Asylum tells the stories of various inmates of a lunatic asylum from the point of view of an escapee driven mad by trying to solve the problem of perpetual motion. William Gilbert (18041880) was a pioneer of psychiatric medicine and the father of W. S. Gilbert, of "& Sullivan" fame.
This copy was later in the library of Rossetti's daughter, the anarchist Helen Rossetti Angeli, with her inscription dated 1920. Library Hub locates 13 copies of this first edition in libraries.
Octavo. Original brown cloth, titles gilt to spine, sides panelled in blind.
Rebacked with the original spine laid down, cloth reinforcement to hinges, extremities of cloth rubbed, some general scuffing and marks, spine rolled, internally fairly clean. A good copy.
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