Friday, June 20, 2008

At 39, Alice G., the unmarried housekeeper from Belleville, Ont., walked through the doors of the Toronto Asylum for the Insane, as it was called in 1893, and never saw the outside world again.

Explaining the “supposed existing cause of insanity,” the physician who committed her scrawled on her form: “disappointment in love affairs.”
Beside occupation, he wrote: “Spinster.”

By society's standards, Alice G was to be pitied: childless, poor, lovelorn and, worst of all, insane.