John Perceval

John Perceval (1803–1876) was born to privilege, one of the many sons of British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval. He was only nine when his father was tragically assassinated; at twenty-seven, he began to experience intrusive thoughts, hear voices, and behave erratically. After a period of isolation, his older brother had him committed to Brislington House, a private asylum. Perceval would remain incarcerated as a lunatic until 1832. After his recovery he began advocating for reforms in the care of the mentally ill, to which end, in 1838, he anonymously published the memoir you now hold.