Sleepwalking, subjectivity and the nervous body in Eighteenth-Century Britain

Sasha Handley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article offers an in-depth study of sleepwalking in the long eighteenth century. It explores how and why the physical condition of sleepwalking was conceptually transformed into a modish nervous disorder that was central to explorations of the human mind, imagination and personal identity in the final decades of the century. This cultural revaluation of sleepwalking, or ‘somnambulism’ as it was increasingly termed, is situated within the context of late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century medical and philosophical thought surrounding the physical act of sleep and its disorders, and within the cults of sensibility and Romanticism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-323
JournalJournal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Issue number3
Early online date31 Oct 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2012


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