April 4, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVI(14):685-686. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430660037009

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In one of Edgar A. Poe's stories there is given an account of a visit to a lunatic asylum, where the patients had turned the tables on their keepers and were running the establishment according to their own mentally vagarious notions. One of them, an exceedingly conscientious young female, had gotten the idea that the wearing of clothing was highly immodest and immoral and proposed therefore to return to her birthday costume or that originally the fashion in Eden. It was, however, considered even by her fellow lunatics an evidence of insanity and she was restrained from imitating too closely her mother Eve, in her state of primal innocence.

A case that has recently created quite a stir in Great Britain suggests Poe's story in one or two of its details. A young woman, highly educated and of good social position, and of good prior reputation, suddenly asserted her conviction

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