Early in 1898 a young, female college student came to the Boston physician Morton Prince, exhibiting a puzzling variety of physical and psychological symptoms. Chief amongst them was aboulia — a lack of will. Prince’s first thought was to try and hypnotising ‘Miss Beauchamp’, as he named her in his 1906 account of the case.80 Hypnotism was a recent science, and the latest method for precisely cases such as this. However, Prince came to realise with increasing astonishment that when he hypnotised her, his patient disappeared entirely, replaced by somebody else with a completely different personality. He entertained a real-life Jekyll and Hyde in his consulting room, although, as he noted, thankfully neither party was as evil as Robert Louis Stevenson’s creation. Over the course of the following months and years at least four separate personalities came to light, and Prince dubbed three of them ‘the saint, the woman, and the devil’.
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