When will women begin to have the first glimmer that above all other loyalties is the loyalty to Truth, i.e., to yourself, that husband, children, friends and country are as nothing to that.
Alice James QuotesShowing all quotes
|Birth:||7th August, 1848|
|Death:||6th March, 1892|
Born into a wealthy and intellectually active family, Alice James soon developed the psychological and physical problems that would end her life at age 43. The youngest of five children, she lived with her parents until their deaths in 1882, when she was 33. She taught history from 1873 to 1876 for the Society to Encourage Studies at Home, a Boston-based correspondence school for women which was founded by Anna Ticknor. James never married and instead sought affection from her brothers and female friends. By 1882 she had suffered at least two major breakdowns and would experience several more before her death from breast cancer.
In the Victorian era, hysteria was an extremely common diagnosis for women. Almost any disease a woman had could fit the symptoms of hysteria because there was no set list of symptoms. In 1888, twenty years after James was "overwhelmed by violent turns of hysteria" she wrote in her diary that she was both suicidal and homicidal. She was struggling with the urge to kill her father, though this diary entry does not state the reason why she was patricidal. In 1866 James traveled to New York to receive "therapeutic exercise" and in 1884 she received electrical "massage." She hoped that a change of scenery would improve her health, and so she traveled to England with her companion Katherine Peabody Loring. She suffered recurring bouts of "hysteria" for the next eight years until she died from breast cancer. James sought various treatments for her disorders but never found significant relief.
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