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Why would someone wake up and claim they're Napoleon?

What made the King of France terrified he might shatter?

Why did middle-aged women in the 19th century try to convince their physicians that they were, in fact, dead?

The answer: something of a fixed idea, not shared by others, unshakable in the face of decisive and contradicting evidence.

In other words, delusion.

For centuries, delusions have been dismissed as something to sort out behind closed doors, but they are much more than just bizarre quirks. Join Victoria Shepherd as she uncovers stories from medieval times to the present day, looking at where delusions come from and what they mean, imploring us all to identify reason within apparent madness.

This In Conversation event will be followed by a live audience Q&A.

Victoria Shepherd conceived and produced the ten-part series A History of Delusions for BBC Radio 4. She has produced scores of documentaries and major strands for BBC Radio 4. She holds an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, and is a director of Winchester Literary Festival.

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A History of Delusions: In conversation with Victoria Shepherd

Type:Historical Event

The National Archives, Kew, London, TW94DU

Tel: 020 8392 5277

Opening Times

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