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Madness evades definition, divides opinion and frightens and touches us all. This volume of writings reveals, in their own words, the experiences of those that have been declared "mad" by themselves, their doctors or their families, together with observations by those intimately involved with madness. Roy Porter has collected the writings and utterances of "mad" people both celebrated and unknown. Included are figures such as John Clare, Robert Schumann, Nietzche and Artaud, and those known only for their madness like Daniel Schreber who was convinced that the world had perished and that he was the last real human being left. The writings combine a range of emotions and provide an insight into the condition of madness and the workings of the human mind.