Promenading with Lunatics
In 1879 the story of Laura Kieler was imortalized in Henrik Ibsen's play "A Doll's House." Unlike the controversial end of a Doll's House where Nora walks out on her husband, Laura did not leave her family of her own free will... Her husband had her put in an asylum for the insane.
In 1888 a young journalist after a story feigned madness and was committed to the "Lunatic Asylum" on Blackwell's Island. Her groundbreaking investigative reporting brought to light the horrific treatment of the "unfortunates" of her time.
In 1892 Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote what was to become her best known work "The Yellow Wallpaper." When asked why she wrote this harrowing short story about the treatment of mental illness she said: "It was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy, and it worked."