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Flesh and SpiritAn anthology of seventeenth-century women's writing$
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Rachel Adcock, Sara Read, and Anna Ziomek

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090233

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090233.001.0001

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Hannah Allen

Hannah Allen

(p.236) 10 Hannah Allen
Flesh and Spirit

Rachel Adcock

Sara Read

Anna Ziomek

Manchester University Press

This chapter comprises an introduction to the conversion narrative of Hannah Allen, A Narrative of God's Gracious Dealings (1683), selected reading, and several edited extracts from the work itself. The introduction includes contextual information about believed causes and cures for spiritual melancholy. This distemper led Allen to believe she was damned for eternity, and therefore experiencing temptations of the Devil, and experiment with a number of different methods to commit suicide (including opening her veins, hiding under floorboards, and smoking spiders, then believed poisonous). She visited a number of ministers and physicians, a combination of faith and physic, in order to find a cure, but then recovered from the illness on her remarriage.

Keywords:   Melancholy, The Devil, Suicide, Temptation, Physician, Conversion, Cure, Illness

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