Dancing with Ophelia by Jeanne Ellen Petrolle

Dancing with Ophelia: Reconnecting Madness, Creativity, and Love by Jeanne Ellen Petrolle
Requirements: .PDF reader, 1 MB
Overview: Uses real-life episodes of psychosis and recovery to show how poetic paradigms for thinking about psychiatric symptoms can enlarge contemporary understandings of mental illness and improve long-term treatment outcome.
“Twenty-two years ago, I lost my mind.” So begins Jeanne Ellen Petrolle’s fascinating personal narrative about her mental illness and recovery. Drawing on literature, art, and philosophy, Petrolle explores a unique understanding of madness that allowed her to achieve lasting mental health without using long-term psychiatric drugs.
Traditionally, Western literature, art, and philosophy have portrayed madness through six concepts created from myth – Escape into the Wild, Flight from a Scene of Terror, Visit to the Underworld, Dark Night of the Soul, Spiritual Passion, and Fire in the Mind. Rather than conceptualizing madness as “illness,” a mythopoetic concept assumes that madness contains symbolic meaning and offers valuable insight into human concerns like love, desire, sex, adventure, work, fate, spirituality, and God. Madness becomes an experience that unleashes extraordinary creativity by generating the spiritual insight that fuels artistic productivity and personal transformation. By weaving her personal experiences with the life stories and work of surrealist painter Leonora Carrington and modernist novelist Djuna Barnes, Petrolle shows how poetic thinking about severe mental distress can complement strategies for managing mental illness. This approach allowed her, and hopefully others, to produce better long-term treatment outcomes.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Biographies & Memoirs

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The Favourite by Ophelia Field

Sarah Churchill Duchess of Marlborough: The Queen’s Favourite by Ophelia Field
Requirements: .MP3 reader, 485 MB
Overview: Sarah Churchill, first Duchess of Marlborough, was the glamorous and controversial subject of hundreds of satires, newspaper articles and publications both during her lifetime and after her death.

Tied to Queen Anne by an intimate friendship, Sarah hoped to wield power equal to that of a government minister. When their relationship soured, she blackmailed Anne with letters revealing their intimacy and accused her of perverting the course of national affairs by keeping lesbian favourites – including Sarah’s own cousin Abigail Masham.

Sarah was a compulsive and compelling writer, narrating the major events of life at Blenheim Palace and at court with herself often centre stage. Attacked for traits that might have been applauded in a man, she was also capable of inspiring intense love and loyalty, deeply committed to her principles and to living what she believed to be a virtuous life.

This biography brings Sarah Churchill’s own voice, passionate and intelligent, back to life and casts a critical eye over images of the Duchess handed down through art, history and literature. Here is an unforgettable portrait of a woman who cared intensely about how we would remember her.
Genre: Audiobooks > Non-Fiction Bios & Memoirs, History

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