Money, Marriage, and Madness: The Life of Anna Ott

Money, Marriage, and Madness: The Life of Anna Ott

by Kim E. Nielsen

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Anna Ott died in the Wisconsin State Hospital for the Insane in 1893. She had enjoyed status and financial success first as a physician's wife and then as the only female doctor in Madison. Throughout her first marriage, attempts to divorce her abusive second husband, and twenty years of institutionalization, Ott determinedly shaped her own life.

Kim E. Nielsen explores a life at once irregular and unexceptional. Historical and institutional structures, like her whiteness and laws that liberalized divorce and women's ability to control their property, opened up uncommon possibilities for Ott. Other structures, from domestic violence in the home to rampant sexism and ableism outside of it, remained a part of even affluent women's lives. Money, Marriage, and Madness tells a forgotten story of how the legal and medical cultures of the time shaped one woman—and what her life tells us about power and society in nineteenth century America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780252085017
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 06/22/2020
Series: Disability Histories Series
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 168
Sales rank: 208,470
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Kim E. Nielsen is a professor and director of the disability studies program at the University of Toledo. Her books include A Disability History of the United States and Beyond the Miracle Worker: The Remarkable Life of Anne Sullivan Macy and Her Extraordinary Friendship with Helen Keller.

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