This challenge was set some years ago by some members of the medical profession. To the best of my knowledge no one has successfully met the criteria.

The heart of the matter is to do with the medical condition known as repressed memory or dissociative amnesia. This condition generally occurs after severe trauma and continues for several months or years before complete recovery takes place. This type of amnesia cannot be explained by either biological factors or by neurological impairment.

A good literary example is in Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling published in 1896 and there are others all dated after the beginning of the 19th century.

The doctors' challenge was to find similar examples in any written work published before 1800 as they believed that such a condition is simply a romantic notion rather than a valid medical condition.

I would be interested in any contributions from members on this matter which might create the framework for a discussion about Literature after 1800 and how it mirrored changes in social behaviour in ways that made it completely different. I am thinking about ideas to do with cities; with the individual and with feelings of loneliness and alienation.

In these harsh economic times it might be of interest to note that the doctors were offering a thousand dollar award to anyone who could meet their challenge.