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Trials of Passion
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Promotional Information

* Online conversations around the woman in the dock * features on Virago.co.uk *Tapping into online crime thriller communities * Piggy back on conversations on popular TV / films with these themes

Promotional Information

* Online conversations around the woman in the dock * features on Virago.co.uk *Tapping into online crime thriller communities * Piggy back on conversations on popular TV / films with these themes

About the Author

Lisa Appignanesi was born in Poland and grew up in France and Canada. A novelist and writer, she is Visiting Professor of Literature and the Medical Humanities at King's College London, Chair of the Freud Museum, and former President of PEN. She was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in 2013. She is the author of Mad, Bad and Sad, All About Love and Losing the Dead.

Reviews

Glorious detail is marshalled from the copious reporting of these sensational stories * Independent *
Enthrallingly narrated, Appignanesi's book compels with its gruesome subject matter and delights with a wealth of bizarre detail -- Miranda Seymour * Daily Telegraph *
A convincing, enlightening narrative that skilfully blends scholarship with a seductive interest in what makes us human * Observer *
Appignanesi is a fine storyteller, bringing the characters and times to life . . . This is a clear and fascinating introduction to the grey zone between criminal guilt and madness * Jewish Chronicle *
Trials of Passion is a rich and rewarding work, brimful of insight and wisdom. Lisa Appignanesi does nothing by halves, and what she says about the mind doctors might describe her own book: "their profession is an art - an art of understanding the human" * Literary Review *
Appignanesi combines a historian's expertise with a novelist's eye for lurid detail * Tatler *
A fascinating portrayal of unhinged lovers caught between lawyers and mind doctors in three turn-of-the-century court cases -- Lara Feigel * Observer *
Novelist, feminist, cultural critic and historian Lisa Appignanesi is an intellectual star in London where she chairs the Freud Museum, writes about women and psychiatry, and has been awarded the OBE for services to literature. Her cosmopolitan background, scholarly expertise, and narrative verve unite in this analysis of three sensational crimes of passion in England, France, and the United States, and the ways doctors and lawyers battled to explain and judge them in the courts. An exciting, enthralling and enlightening book -- Elaine Showalter
A stupendous achievement, combining brilliant historical sleuthing with masterful storytelling. Appignanesi's book offers at once a canny cross-cultural analysis of the (mis-) uses of the insanity plea and an evocative account of how our forebears a hundred years ago made sense of the lethal havoc that could be wreaked by unassuaged jealousies and amorous obsessions. Trials of Passion transforms our understanding of the origins of 'the sexual century' - the one we've just left behind, but which continues to leave its marks on our present -- Dagmar Herzog, author of Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-Century History
A mosaic of law, psychology, and class strictures . . . Will satisfy readers attuned to the juncture of history, psychology, and feminism * Kirkus *
Trials of Passion mixes sex, scandal and psychiatry in a way as exciting as today's headlines and as rich as yesterday's archives -- Edmund White
Trials of Passion is a wholly absorbing, obsessively interesting book. Lisa Appignanesi's stories of women and men who murdered and maimed for love, obsession, and revenge are told in vivid detail. But through these tales she gives the reader more: a portrait of an age and its often-contradictory ideas about madness, social mores, and the female psyche, all of which were on trial with the defendants. Deft, learned, and compassionate, this is a book for anyone who cares about the curious doings of the human mind strained to its limits by affairs of the heart -- Siri Hustvedt, author of The Blazing World
Leaving no stone unturned, Appignanesi details the actions of psychiatrists, courts, and the press amid allegations of "hysteria," stalking, affairs, obsession, "love-madness" (nymphomania), and children born out of wedlock. The factual material-court transcripts, asylum records, lovers' letters, and "hint and smear" news accounts-is vast and historically resonant * Publishers Weekly *
Trials refers here both to some celebrated criminal trials and to the trials faced by the western justice system in the late-nineteenth century up to WWI in trying to come to grips with what should be considered 'mad' or 'bad.' Appignananesi brings a wealth of psychiatric insight and historical detail to this question * Booklist *

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