Publication information

Alienist and Neurologist
Source type: journal
Document type: article
Document title: “Where Fancies Fly with Painted Wings to Dazzle and Mislead”
Author(s): Barr, Martin W.
Date of publication: November 1912
Volume number: 33
Issue number: 4
Pagination: 390-417 (excerpt below includes only pages 390-91)

Barr, Martin W. “Where Fancies Fly with Painted Wings to Dazzle and Mislead.” Alienist and Neurologist Nov. 1912 v33n4: pp. 390-417.
Leon Czolgosz (mental health).
Named persons
John Wilkes Booth; Gaetano Bresci; Caligula; Sante Geronimo Caserio; Leon Czolgosz; Elagabalus; Charles J. Guiteau; Luigi Luccheni; Nero; François Ravaillac.
From page 390: By Martin W. Barr, M. D., Elwyn, Pa., Chief Physician to the Pennsylvania Training School for Feeble Minded Children.

Where Fancies Fly with Painted Wings to Dazzle and Mislead

     The term insanity, so often misconceived, seems to present to the mind of the general public an idea diametrically opposed to that of the alienist.
     The picture most commonly accepted of dishevelled [sic] hair, untidy appearance, bizarre dress, wild, incoherent speech and [390][391] vain babblings, or the drooling mouth, senile smile, and tottering, halting step of the prematurely aged is really an exception, rather than that most usually encountered in insane hospitals.
     While admitting that a murderer, obsessed by his original criminal instincts in exaggerated form, must be insane; yet the public has been slow in realizing that Ravaillac, Bresci, Caserio, Luccheni, Wilkes Booth, Guiteau and Czolgosz were really insane men, and therefore wholly irresponsible; their so-called crimes having been committed under the influence of morbid delusions. That these have their prototypes far along the ages, surely none may doubt; or that others than Nero have worn the royal purple. Note Caligula carousing with his jewel-decked horse and naked jockeys; Elagabalus, with gaily painted face, working in woman’s garb with the vain delusion of bringing the Lady Moon from Carthage to wed the Sun Giant.