Dr. Kate Lister is a researcher at Leeds Trinity University in historical attitudes to sexuality and sex work. She has published on the history of media narratives around sex work, the history of menstruation and sexual violence in historical dramas. She is the curator of the popular Twitter account @WhoresofYore where she tweets the history of illicit sex and works to promote sex worker rights and challenge stigma.
The Victorian Period: Menstrual Madness in the Nineteenth Century
This paper will reveal how cultural beliefs and superstitions associated with the female body, as communicated by the medical profession, had a profound impact on the image of the mad or violent women in nineteenth-century texts. The theory of menstrual madness held a tight grip on the understanding of even the most prominent of nineteenth-century physicians. Dr. William Rowley, professor of medicine at Oxford University and member of the Royal College of Physicians, eagerly wrote of the ‘passio hysterica’ repressed menstruation, or amenorrhea, could bring about in women in 1800: ‘The tongue falters, trembles, and incoherent things are spoken; the voice changes; some roar, scream or shriek immoderately; others sigh deeply, weep or moan plaintively’. Menstruation, in whatever form it took was considered dangerous because of its associations with madness and the mysterious condition known as ‘hysteria’. Dr Jacobi wrote in 1868 that ‘At such times, a woman is undoubtedly more prone than men to commit any unusual or outrageous acts’. Whilst medical texts argued that menstruation weakens the body, their continual references to madness, violence, irrationality and superstitious associations with the moon, suggest otherwise. This paper will focus on representations of mad women, such as Bertha Rochester in Jane Eyre, as well as the violent murderesses of Victorian sensation and crime fiction and show how their ‘madness’ is linked to sociological constructs of the body and in particular, to menstruation. I will explore the nineteenth-century idea that all women have the capacity for menstrual madness within them and were culturally repressed as a result. I intend to reveal a link between medical understanding of menstruation and the representation of women as unstable in literature.
Contact with [menstrual blood] turns new wine sour, crops touched by it become barren, grafts die, seed in gardens are dried up, the fruit of trees falls off, the edge of steel and the gleam of ivory are dulled, hives of bees die, even bronze and iron are at once seized by rust, and a horrible smell fills the air; to taste it drives dogs mad and infects their bites with an incurable poison [. . .] Even that very tiny creature the ant is said to be sensitive to it and throws away grains of corn that taste of it and do not touch them again.[i]
The cultural history of menstruation, with a few notable exceptions, has long been overlooked.[ii] However, historians are becoming aware that to study the irrational fears and beliefs surrounding menstruation can shed new light on the social experience of women. Patricia Crawford, for example, states that the historical study of menstruation is ‘essential for an understanding of the position of women in society’.[iii] Few subjects evoke as strong and universal reaction as menstruation. Though Pliny ventured his own opinion on the apparently apocalyptic properties of menstrual blood almost 2,000 years ago, one merely has to look to the euphemistically titled ‘feminine hygiene products’ aisle in modern day supermarkets to know that, though we have certainly moved on, as a culture, we are still not entirely comfortable with the subject. It is little wonder then that even the most forward thinking and open minded Victorians, Florence Nightingale or John Stuart Mill, for example, are noticeably quiet on the subject. Even Darwin shied away from openly discussing menstruation, regarding it as being unsuitable for ‘any work not strictly medical’[iv], and veiling the few menstrual references in his own work in Latin.
It is hard to comprehend today how little the scientific and medical community knew about the reproductive system in the nineteenth century. In 1805, Dr. Thomas Denman seemed to acknowledge this and wrote that where medical science has failed to explain menstruation, ‘imagination hath been called forth’. As if in testament to his own imagination Denman went on to write that the menstruating woman is often ‘liable to periodical emissions of blood from the nose, lungs, ears, eyes, breasts, navel and almost every other part of the body’.[v] This potent and irrational image of a blood-covered woman, bleeding from every bodily orifice, penned by an educated member of the medical community, begins to demonstrate the extent of the misconceptions that underpinned the understanding of menstruation in the nineteenth century. It is not my intention to mock the medical acumen of yesteryear, but in order to understand how and why the link between menstruation and madness was affirmed in the nineteenth century and beyond, we must first familiarise ourselves with the medical understanding of menstruation.
The Galenic ‘plethora theory’ of menstruation persisted to inform medical ‘fact’ until the late eighteenth century. This was Galen’s theory of a ‘plethora’ or a pathogenic excess of blood in the body. For Galen, plethora was a fundamental cause of disease as too much blood in the body led to fever and inflammation.[vi] It logically followed that menstruation was the body’s way of redressing such an imbalance as women were naturally weaker than men and in need of regular bleeding. In 1786 Dr. William Cullen rejected this ancient theory and wrote his highly influential First Lines of the Practice of Physic. Here Cullen proposed his theory of ‘topical congestion’. This theory suggested that as the internal organs grew more blood was needed to supply them. When the organs reached their full capacity they forced this excess blood into other, as yet undeveloped, organs. In women, the womb was the last to develop and when fully grown dispelled its blood through the uterus. Of course this only accounted for the first period and Cullen suggests that the female body may just get into a ‘habit’[vii] of menstruation after this. This theory persisted until the middle of the nineteenth century. The alarmingly named, Dr. Coffin, for one, wrote that the theory of topical congestion was proved by ‘debility, inactivity and the swelling of the breasts’[viii] in 1849. However, from the middle of nineteenth century onwards the validity of topical congestion came under increasing attack, not least from Dr. Edward Tilt who proposed his ‘ovular theory’ as the cause of menstruation in 1851. Tilt acknowledged that although there were ‘creaks in this theory’ it was a ‘most comprehensive explanation for menstruation’.[ix] He understood that menstruation was connected to the ovaries and explained menstruation as ‘a Sero – sanguinolent secretion propelled by an ovarian influence from all or different parts of the generative intestine, and principally from the womb’.[x] Though these theories glimpse something of the truth, it was not until the early twentieth century that science began to fully understand menstruation. It is no coincidence that the mysteries of menstruation began to be dispelled as more and more women entered the medical profession. Indeed, it was the pioneering work of Dr. Mary Putnam Jacobi (whose 1876 essay, ‘The Question of Rest for Women during Menstruation’, won the Boylston Prize at Harvard University), and her intellectual heirs, Clelia Duel Mosher and Leta Stetter (who studied menstruation among college women from 1890 to 1920), that suggested the theory of ‘menstrual incapacity’ was wrong.[xi]
Though the ‘wandering womb’ theory had been discredited by the nineteenth century, the Victorians still held to the idea that menstruation was crucial to the development, diagnosis and management of hysteria. Whilst medical texts argued that menstruation weakens the body, their continual references to madness, violence, irrationality and associations with the moon suggest otherwise. Victorian definitions of ‘hysteria’ are fraught with inconsistencies and contradictions. It became, what Janet Oppenheim termed, ‘a catch all classification’.[xii] Jane Wood wrote ‘its clinical criteria could be modified to diagnose all behaviors which did not fit the prescribed model of Victorian womanhood’.[xiii] However one defines hysteria, by the mid nineteenth century, it had reached near epidemic proportions and its links with menstruation were well known. Despite advances in scientific understanding, throughout the nineteenth century, attitudes towards menstruation, the female body and its reproductive capacity remained clouded with superstitions and an ingrained misogyny. Dr. John Burns in his The Principles of Midwifery (1811) wrote that menstruation is ‘to be considered as a disease’.[xiv] It was not only a disease but a dangerous one which, if not controlled properly, could lead to madness. The theory of menstrual madness held a tight grip on the understanding of even the most prominent of nineteenth century physicians. Dr. William Rowley, professor of medicine at Oxford University and member of the Royal College of Physicians, eagerly wrote of the ‘passio hysterica’ repressed menstruation, or amenorrhea, could bring about in women. ‘The tongue falters, trembles, and incoherent things are spoken; the voice changes; some roar, scream or shriek immoderately; others sigh deeply, weep or moan plaintively’.[xv] Heavy bleeding was also considered to be dangerous and required purging, opiates and physical restriction. Dr. Charles Manfield Clarke also believed menstruation and madness to be inextricably linked. ‘The peculiar states of the uterus have frequently a share in producing madness, appears from the fact that between the years 1784 and 1794 eighty patients were admitted to Bethlam hospital, whose disorders followed shortly after the menstrual state’.[xvi] Dr. Althaus agreed and wrote that ‘hysterical attacks almost always occur after a sudden suppression of the menstrual flow’[xvii] in 1848. It is significant to note that menstrual madness is frequently understood to be violent and the sufferer liable to commit criminal acts of savagery. Dr Jacobi feared that during the time of menstruation women were prone to some very disturbing behaviour, ‘At such times a woman is undoubtedly more prone than men to commit any unusual or outrageous acts’[xviii] in 1868.
As it was widely believed that women became unstable and were liable to madness during menstruation, the majority of prescribed ‘treatments’ were extreme and emphasised sedation. Dr. John Burns recommended the following treatment to all women during her ‘monthlies’.
In every case, unless she be cold and exhausted, we apply cold water both generally and locally. The patient always must be kept at rest in a horizontal posture. Opiates are to be given if there is much pain and irritation. The food aught to be sparing and anything warm is to be avoided. If necessary the vagina is to be plugged if a great effect has been produced upon the system by the hemorrhage, then strength must be supported by nourishment and cordials and liberal doses of opium will be found of much benefit. In order to prevent a return the patient must be placed on a spare and dry diet, the sleep abridged, the exercise increased, the bowels kept open by mild laxatives and at the same time, the constitution invigorated by a cold bath [. . .] if (astringents) are to be employed, whey or sulphuric acid are the best. Styptic injections are often of singular utility. In repeated discharges emetics are sometimes of service.[xix]
The consensus that emerges from the nineteenth-century medical profession is that all women have the capacity for madness within them and this requires constant vigilance. Clearly, science was being influenced by prevailing social doctrine that women were naturally inferior to men and the medical profession was influenced by prejudice, rather than fact. The same arguments, taken to extreme conclusions, served the cause of aggressive anti-feminists such as James MacGrigor Allan, who when addressing the Anthropological Society of London in 1869, said:
Although the duration of the menstrual period differs greatly according to race, temperament and health, it will be within the mark to state that women are unwell, from this cause, on the average two days in the month, or say one month in the year. At such times, women are unfit for any great mental or physical labour. They suffer under a languor and depression which disqualify them for thought or action, and render it extremely doubtful how far they can be considered responsible beings whilst this crisis lasts. Much of the inconsequent conduct of women, their petulance, caprice and irritability, may be traced directly to this cause [. . .] In intellectual labour, man has surpassed, does now, and always will surpass woman, for the obvious reason that nature does not periodically interrupt his thought and application.[xx]
The conviction that women could not be considered ‘responsible beings’ whilst this ‘crisis’ lasted was so firmly entrenched that women could, quite literally, get away with murder.
In 1845, eighteen year old Martha Brixey, a domestic nanny, went on trial for the murder of nine month old Robert Barry Ffinch, a child in her care. It was recorded that Brixley slit the boy’s throat and then ran to the infant’s family crying ‘what have I done? What have I done?’[xxi] Brixley’s defense lawyer argued that she had been experiencing ‘menstrual irregularities’. He called on the family physician, John Mould Burton to give evidence. Burton confirmed Brixley has been menstruating at the time of the offense and added that ‘I have since the 31st of March sent the prisoner some medicines to remove some constitutional irregularities to which young women are especially subject’.[xxii] Martha Brixley was acquitted on grounds of insanity. Dr. Davey drew upon this case to ‘prove’ how menstrual irregularities could lead to violent pathologies: he coined the terms ‘uterine fury’ and ‘hysteromania’ in 1845.[xxiii] In Principles and Practices, Alfred Taylor utilized the Brixley case as evidence of how suppressed menstruation can cause insanity and extreme violence in young women.
By the sympathy of the uterine functions with the brain there may be some intellectual disturbance, indicated by the waywardness of temper, strange and immoral conduct, morbid appetite, and great irritability with excitement from slight causes. A crime may be suddenly perpetrated by such persons without apparent motive.[xxiv] Subsequently, Taylor concluded that Brixley was rightly acquitted on grounds of insanity. Rather than the restricting Victorian model of ‘The Angel in the House’, nineteenth-century medical conceptions of women understood there to be a ghastly, destructive and unpredictable madness that lurked beneath refined feminine graces: all women had the capacity for extreme violence.
We have begun to see how prejudices surrounding menstruation permeated not only the medical community but also the scientific and legal system. In turn, we can see such prejudices filter into cultural consciousness as the link between women and menstrual madness became entrenched. Unsurprisingly, menstruation does not feature widely in nineteenth-century literature. Even the Marquis de Sade seems to have found the subject distasteful and he compares menstrual blood to excrement, spittle and unwashed feet.[xxv] For Sade, menstruation was an ‘impurity’ that served to add a new dimension of depravity to the sexual repertoire his characters. Though menstruation is not explicitly mentioned outside of pornography in any nineteenth-century text I have yet found, the association between young women, violence and blood, or the colour red, is abundant.
Charlotte Brontё’s Jane Eyre (1847) opens with the pubescent Jane being cruelly locked in ‘the red room’ by her Aunt. The young Jane begins to experience acute mental anxiety. ‘My heart beat thick, my head grew hot; a sound filled my ears [. . .] I was oppressed, suffocated: endurance broke down – I uttered a wild, involuntary cry – I rushed to the door and shook the lock in a desperate effort’.[xxvi] Many critics have read this scene as representative of Jane’s entrapment, both social and economic or as an omen of the adventures and misfortunes to come. Gilbert and Gubar famously argued that it is here that we begin to see the mental instability that characterises the adult Jane and her double, Bertha Mason Rochester. [xxvii] The ‘red room’, is described as having ‘curtains of deep-red damask [. . .] two large windows, with their blinds always drawn down, [that] were half shrouded in festoons and falls of similar drapery; the carpet was red; the table at the foot of the bed was covered with a crimson cloth’.[xxviii] The yonic folds of rich, red fabric combined with the violent emotional reaction of the young Jane surely suggest Brontё is drawing upon the association of women, madness and menstruation. Certainly the link between women and madness is explored further in the novel when the tragic Bertha is revealed to a stunned audience. Her appearance is described in remarkable similarity to Rowley’s earlier description of the hysteria repressed menstruation could bring about in women. (‘The tongue falters, trembles, and incoherent things are spoken; the voice changes; some roar, scream or shriek immoderately; others sigh deeply, weep or moan plaintively’.) Bertha growls ‘like some strange wild animal’, she is ‘snappish’, ‘rageous’ [sic]; she is described as a ‘lunatic’ with ‘bloated features’ and an unnatural strength.[xxix] Bertha is all the nineteenth century feared of the mad women, made manifest. Interestingly, Bertha is intimately associated with blood. When she attacks her brother, she bites him, ‘she sucked the blood: she said she’d drain my heart’.[xxx] Though menstruation is not directly referenced, Bertha’s mental state, her extreme violence and the evocation of blood, evoke the extreme images of mad, hysteric women that underpins so much Victorian medical literature.
Arguably, Jane Eyre is high brow literature, but we see the same motifs reoccurring in Victorian popular sensation literature. Mary Fortune’s little known ‘The White Maniac: a Doctor’s Tale’ (1863) also represents young women as vampiric, violent and insane. The story tells the tale of a young doctor, Charles Everton, who specialises in the treatment of mental disorders. He is called to treat a beautiful, twenty year old, foreign, princess called Blanche D’Alberville. Blanche lives with her uncle in a house devoid of any colour but white. The furnishings are white, the walls are white and all guests are requested to wear only white when in her presence. Everton is told that the sight of colour excites madness in Blanche. Blanche appears perfectly sane and charming when Everton treats her and, inevitably, he falls in love with her. He begins to suspect that it is her uncle that is mad and not she. Believing Blanche to be ‘the most perfect of women’[xxxi], Everton asks her to marry him. Determined to rescue Blanche from her imprisonment, Everton decides to expose her uncle’s evil scheme by presenting Blanche with a bouquet of ‘flaring scarlet verbena’.[xxxii] He walks into the white house, in his white suit and presents Blanche with the bunch of violently red flowers. The result is tragically predictable.
Her eyes [. . .] flashed into madness at the sight of the flowers as I turned. Her face grew scarlet, her hands clenced, and her regards devoured the scarlet bouquet, as I madly held it towards her. [. . .] How well I remember that picture today. The white room – the torn brilliant flowers – and the mad fury of that lovely being. [. . .] then there was a rush, and white teeth were at my throat, tearing flesh, and sinews and veins; and a horrible sound was in my ears, as if some wild animal was tearing at my body![xxxiii]
Everton survives the attack but Blanche has to be killed to release his throat. We then learn that Blanche, on her eighteenth birthday, was discovered having torn out her sister’s throat and drank her blood.[xxxiv] The similarities between Blanche and Bertha are striking; both are young when they first are subject to their first violent outbursts, they both attack and drink the blood of a sibling, both are described as being animal like, deranged and yet beautiful enough to ensnare an educated man. For me, the most striking feature of both these texts is the presence of the colour red that accompanies the onset of madness. Not only do both characters drink blood, but the colour red certainly is significant in the unsettling of both the young Jane and the eighteen year old Blanche. The combined yonic imagery of folding fabrics and deep hued flowers with references to blood and the colour red is, at the least, suggestive of menstruation and its established associations with madness.
Victorian ideas about menstruation demonstrate the way scientific knowledge reflects, rather than establishes, or challenges, the moral prejudices on an era. Whilst any references to menstruation outside of a medical text are rare, we can trace distorted medical beliefs about women’s bodies and their capacity for menstrual madness in the literature of the time. The representations of bloodied, insane young women are to be found throughout Victorian literature. What emerges from analysing legal and medical material is an understanding of how the Victorian regarded women as liable to violent insanity at any time and how closely this was related to their physiognomy, in particular to their menstrual cycles. That women menstruated was seen as scientific evidence that women were not equal to men, that nature had determined a different role for them. But more than this, it was used to reinforce prejudices that women were not rational creatures and required constant supervision. Such is the cultural taboo of menstruation that the impact of menstruation on women’s lives is all but impossible to determine. However, it is safe to assume that, despite the concerns perpetuated in the medical texts books and literature of the day, half the population was not incapacitated or subject to episodes
[i] Pliny, Natural History, trans. H. Rackham (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961), book 7, 549.
[ii] See Penelope Shuttle and Peter Redgrove, The Wise Wound (London: Marion Boyars, 1978), Janice Delaney and Others, The Curse: A Cultural History of Menstruation (Chicago University of Illinois Press, 1988), Patricia Crawford, ‘Attitudes to Menstruation in Seventeenth-Century England’, Past and Present 91 (1981): 47-73, Sara Read, Menstruation and the Female Body in Early Modern England (London: Macmillan, 2013).
[iii] Patricia Crawford, ‘Attitudes to Menstruation in Seventeenth-Century England’, Past and Present 91 (1981): 47-73.
[iv] Darwin Correspondence, Viewed 22nd August 2013,<http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-7666>.
[v] Thomas Denman, M.D, An Introduction to the Practice of Midwifery (London: T. Bensley, 1805), 166.
[vi] Joan Cadden, Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science and Culture (Cambridge: University Press, 1993), pp. 21-6. Nancy Tuana, ‘The Weaker Seed: The Sexist Bias of Reproduction Theory’, in Feminism and Science, ed. by Nancy Tuana (Bloomingdale: Indiana University Press, 1989), pp. 147-71.
[vii] William Cullen, The First Lines of the Practice of Physic (Edinburgh: C. Eliot, 1786), 34-5.
[viii] Albert Issaiah Coffin, Dr. Coffin’s Treatise on Midwifery and the Diseases of Women and Children (Manchester: The British Medico-Botanic Press, 1849), 12.
[ix] John Edward Tilt, On Diseases of Menstruation and Ovarian Inflammation (New York: Samuel S. & William Wood, 1851), xxviii.
[x] Ibid., xxiii.
[xi] See Carla Bittel, Mary Putnam Jacobi and the Politics of Medicine in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2009).
[xii] Janet Oppenheim, ‘Shattered Nerves’: Doctors, Patients and Depression in Victorian England (Oxford: University Press, 1991), 181.
[xiii] Jane Wood, Passion and Pathology in Victorian Fiction (Oxford: University Press, 2001), 12.
[xiv] John Burns, The Principles of Midwifery Including the Diseases of Women and Children (London: Longman, 1811). 102.
[xv] William Rowley, A Treatise on Female Nervous Diseases, Madness, Suicide, &c. (London: T. Hookham, 1798), 54.
[xvi] Charles Manfield Clarke, Observations on the Diseases of Females which are Attended by Discharges (Philadelphia: H. C. Carey, 1824), 25.
[xvii] Julius Althanus, On Epilepsy, Hysteria and Ataxy: Three Lectures (London: Churchill & Sons., 1866), 48.
[xviii] Mary Putnam Jacobi, The Question of Rest for Women During Menstruation (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1877), 5.
[xix] John Burns, The Principles of Midwifery Including the Diseases of Women and Children (London: Longman, 1811), 102.
[xx] J. McGrigor Allan, ‘On the Real Differences in the Minds of Men and Women’, The Anthropological Review 7 (1869): 196-219.
[xxi] Old Bailey Proceedings Online, viewed 22nd August, 2013, <http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t18450512-1180-offence-1&div=t18450512-1180> May 1845, trial of MARTHA BRIXEY (t18450512-1180).
[xxiii] James Davey, ‘Lectures on Insanity, Delivered at the Bristol Medical School During the Summer Sessions of 1855: Lecture II, British Medical Journal II (1855), 668-75.
[xxiv] Alfred Swaine Taylor, The Principles and Practices of Medical Jurisprudence (London: Churchill Sons., 1865), 1100.
[xxv] Marquis de Sade, The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings (New York: Grove Press, 1966), 327.
[xxvi] Charlotte Brontё, Jane Eyre (Ware: Wordsworth Editions, 1992), 12.
[xxviii] Sandra M. Gilbert & Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (London: Yale University Press, 1979), 361.
[xxix] Brontё, Jane Eyre, 259.
[xxx] Brontё, Jane Eyre, 187.
[xxxi] Mary Fortune, ‘The White Maniac: A Doctor’s Tale’ last updated July 2006, viewed 27th August 2013, <http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602781h.html>.
Althanus, Julius. On Epilepsy, Hysteria and Ataxy: Three Lectures, London: Churchill & Sons., 1866.
Brontё, Charlotte. Jane Eyre, Ware: Wordsworth Editions, 1992.
Burns, John. The Principles of Midwifery Including the Diseases of Women and Children, London: Longman, 1811.
Cadden, Joan Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science and Culture (Cambridge: University Press, 1993).
Clarke, Charles, Manfield. Observations on the Diseases of Females which are Attended by Discharges, Philadelphia: H. C. Carey, 1824.
Coffin, Albert Issaiah. Dr. Coffin’s Treatise on Midwifery and the Diseases of Women and Children, Manchester: The British Medico-Botanic Press, 1849.
Cullen, William. The First Lines of the Practice of Physic, Edinburgh: C. Eliot, 1786.
Crawford, Patricia. ‘Attitudes to Menstruation in Seventeenth-Century England’, Past and Present 91 (1981): 47-73.
Darwin Correspondence, Viewed 22nd August 2013, <http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-7666>.
Davey, James. ‘Lectures on Insanity, Delivered at the Bristol Medical School During the Summer Sessions of 1855: Lecture II, British Medical Journal II (1855), 668-75.
Denman, Thomas. An Introduction to the Practice of Midwifery, London: T. Bensley, 1805.
Fortune, Mary. ‘The White Maniac: A Doctor’s Tale’ last updated July 2006, viewed 27th August 2013, <http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602781h.html>.
Gilbert, Sandra M. & Gubar, Susan, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination (London: Yale University Press, 1979).
Jacobi, Mary Putnam. The Question of Rest for Women During Menstruation, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1877.
McGrigor, J. Allan. ‘On the Real Differences in the Minds of Men and Women’, The Anthropological Review 7 (1869): 196-219.
Oppenheim, Janet. ‘Shattered Nerves’: Doctors, Patients and Depression in Victorian England, Oxford: University Press, 1991.
Pliny, Natural History, trans. H. Rackham, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961.
Rowley, William. A Treatise on Female Nervous Diseases, Madness, Suicide, &c., London: T. Hookham, 1798.
Sade, Marquis de. The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings (New York: Grove Press, 1966.
Tuana, Nancy, ‘The Weaker Seed: The Sexist Bias of Reproduction Theory’, in Feminism and Science, ed. by Nancy Tuana (Bloomingdale: Indiana University Press, 1989), pp. 147-71.
Taylor, Alfred, Swaine. The Principles and Practices of Medical Jurisprudence, London: Churchill Sons., 1865.
Tilt, John, Edward. On Diseases of Menstruation and Ovarian Inflammation, New York: Samuel S. & William Wood, 1851.
Jane, Wood. Passion and Pathology in Victorian Fiction, Oxford: University Press, 2001.
Old Bailey Proceedings Online, viewed 22nd August, 2013, <http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t18450512-1180-offence-1&div=t18450512-1180> May 1845, trial of MARTHA BRIXEY (t18450512-1180).