Mrs. William Makepeace Thackeray, Isabella Gethin Shawe (December 5, 1816-January 11, 1894)
The diagnosis is schizophrenia, of a type that often begins with depression and ideas of unworthiness a few weeks after childbirth. 2 Some of these patients get well spontaneously in a few months and the diagnosis of a “post-puerperal depression” is made. Others seem to drift into a permanent state of apathy and live the rest of their lives in an unreal world of fantasy, with gradual mental deterioration. Such was the fate of Mrs. Thackeray.
According to census' 1871-1891, Isabella Gethin Shawe Thackeray was placed in care at Eden Lodge, Leigh, Essex, United Kingdom. Her husband made sure she was being cared for at the home of friends of his, in this case, Henry and Emma Thompson. She passed away there on 11 January 1894 at the age of seventy-seven from eclampsia (apoplexy) with her first born daughter, Anne Thackeray Ritchie present at her bedside.