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Long cited in legal cases, Isaac Ray’s Treatise (1838) was a first systematic book in English on the relations of law and psychiatry. “Few, probably,” the author begins, “are aware how far the condition of the law relative to insanity is behind the present state of our knowledge.” An experienced practitioner and administrator, Ray was an exponent of a theory of “moral mania,” resembling the “compulsion” familiar from Freud’s work. Cases of “irresistible impulse,” Ray says, “are not fictions…but plain unvarnished facts.” The principles he advanced are still sound and progressive today.