Nonfiction Resources on Insanity: Gov. Winthrop

John Winthrop’s Journal entry of 13 April 1645 describes a woman’s mental instability as coming from her husband’s allowing her to read and write books.

Mr. Hopkins…brought his wife with him, (a godly young woman, and of special parts,) who was fallen into a sad infirmity, the loss of her understanding and reason, which had been growing upon her divers years, by occasion of her giving herself wholly to reading and writing, and had written many books…

[I]f she had attended her household affairs, and such things as belong to women, and not gone out of her way and calling to meddle in such things as are proper for men, whose minds are stronger, etc., she had kept her wits, and might have improved them…[2:225]

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