The Sorrows of Deafness

If, on being introduced to a new circle, you find yourself addressing a person apparently between the ages of eighteen and thirty, who makes small or no reply even to your most piquant remarks, do not immediately set down him or her as either proud, sulky, or irremediably stupid; but let the thought suggest itself that the non-respondent may be deaf, and be prepared to bestow some compassion where you before felt something allied to contempt.

G.H. Bosanquet wrote a short pamphlet, The Sorrows of Deafness in 1839, in order to provide a mouthpiece for drawing attention to the privations of deafness and the experiences of deaf individuals. Himself having suffered misery from deafness, Bosanquet spends much of the book trying to shift conceptions about the isolated and solitary state of the deaf, and on making it clear that one being deaf does not equal one being stupid.