Representing Epilepsy: Myth and Matter

Document Type


Publication Details

Stirling, J., (2010) Representing Epilepsy: Myth and Matter, Liverpool University Press;England


Representing Epilepsy, the latest volume in Liverpool University Press’s acclaimed Representations series, is the first book that looks at the cultural and literary history of epilepsy, a condition that afflicts at least 50 million people worldwide. Jeannette Stirling argues that neurological discourse about epilepsy from the late nineteenth century through to the mid-twentieth century was forged as much by cultural conditions of the times as it is by the science of western medicine. Stirling also explores narratives of epilepsy in works as diverse as David Copperfield and The X Files, drawing out the many ideas of social disorder, tainted bloodlines, sexual deviance, spiritualism, and criminality they depict.