The World of Nineteenth Century Mental Health Care
Author: Mark Stevens
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Life in the Victorian Asylum reconstructs the lost world of the nineteenth century public asylums. This fresh take on the history of mental health reveals why county asylums were built, the sort of people they housed and the treatments they received, as well as the enduring legacy of these remarkable institutions.Mark Stevens, the best-selling author of Broadmoor Revealed, is a professional archivist and expert on asylum records. In this book, he delves into Victorian mental health archives to recreate the experience of entering an asylum and being treated there, perhaps for a lifetime. Praise for Broadmoor Revealed'Superb,' Family Tree magazine'Detailed and thoughtful,' Times Literary Supplement'Paints a fascinating picture,' Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine
This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license. This book explores how the body was investigated in the late nineteenth-century asylum in Britain. As more and more Victorian asylum doctors looked to the bodily fabric to reveal the ‘truth’ of mental disease, a whole host of techniques and technologies were brought to bear upon the patient's body. These practices encompassed the clinical and the pathological, from testing the patient's reflexes to dissecting the brain. Investigating the Body in the Victorian Asylum takes a unique approach to the topic, conducting a chapter-by-chapter dissection of the body. It considers how asylum doctors viewed and investigated the skin, muscles, bones, brain, and bodily fluids. The book demonstrates the importance of the body in nineteenth-century psychiatry as well as how the asylum functioned as a site of research, and will be of value to historians of psychiatry, the body, and scientific practice.
The Victorian lunatic asylum has a special place in history. Dreaded and reviled by many, these nineteenth-century buildings provide a unique window on how the Victorians housed and treated the mentally ill. Despite initially good intentions, they became warehouses for society's outcasts at a time when cures were far fewer than hoped for. Isolated, hidden in the countryside and surrounded by high walls, they were eventually distributed throughout Britain, the Empire, the Continent and North America, with 120 or so in England and Wales alone. Now the memory of them is fading, and many of the buildings have gone or are threatened. Most have been closed as hospitals since the 1980s and either been demolished or turned into prestigious private apartments, their original use largely forgotten. Their memory deserves rehabilitation as a fascinating part of Victorian life that survived into modern times. In The Victorian Asylum, Sarah Rutherford gives an insight into their history, their often imposing architecture, and their later decline, and brings to life these haunting buildings, some of which still survive today.
Women, Religion and Mental Illness in the Victorian Asylum
Author: Diana Peschier
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
How did the Victorians view mental illness? After discovering the case-notes of women in Victorian asylums, Diana Peschier reveals how mental illness was recorded by both medical practitioners and in the popular literature of the era, and why madness became so closely associated with femininity. Her research reveals the plight of women incarcerated in 19th century asylums, how they became patients, and the ways they were perceived by their family, medical professionals, society and by themselves.
Fair Mile was more than just a psychiatric hospital; it was an example of a nationwide network of ‘pauper lunatic asylums’, born of responsible Victorian legislation and compassion for the disadvantaged. It was a secure home to many of its patients and staff, and the community within its walls became an integral part of Cholsey, touching almost every household in the area. Drawing on county records, first-hand accounts and archive photographs, Fair Mile Hospital describes the ethos of the Victorian asylum builders and the development of the facility that treated thousands of patients over four generations. Relating changes in practice and personnel, and the difficulties of two world wars, this is a unique account of a hospital that did its utmost for those in its care.
A fascinating introduction to the history of Broadmoor: Kate Summerscale, author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.On 27 May 1863, three coaches pulled up at the gates of a new asylum, built amongst the tall, dense pines of Windsor Forest. Broadmoors first patients had arrived.In Broadmoor Revealed, Mark Stevens writes about what life was like for the criminally insane, over one hundred years ago. From fresh research into the Broadmoor archives, Mark has uncovered the lost lives of patients whose mental illnesses led them to become involved in crime.Discover the five women who went on to become mothers in Broadmoor, giving birth to new life when three of them had previously taken it. Find out how several Victorian immigrants ended their hopeful journeys to England in madness and disaster. And follow the numerous escapes, actual and attempted, as the first doctors tried to assert control over the residents.As well as bringing the lives of forgotten patients to light, this thrilling book reveals new perspectives on some of the hospital's most famous Victorian residents: Edward Oxford, the bar boy who shot at Queen Victoria. Richard Dadd, the brilliant artist and murderer of his own father. William Chester Minor, veteran of the American Civil War who went on to play a key part in the first Oxford English Dictionary. Christiana Edmunds, The Chocolate Cream Poisoner and frustrated lover from Brighton.Broadmoor Revealed became the most popular history e-book of 2011, and now this new expanded and revised edition celebrates the Hospital's 150th anniversary.
'Exemplary study... this is a wonderfully detailed study. One of its virtues is that it shows how tenuous disciplinary lines can be. To try to classify this work as institutional history, history of medicine, social history etc. would be to do a disservice to a volume that covers all these areas.' -English Historical ReviewThis book contributes to the growing scholarly interest in the history of disability by investigating the emergence of 'idiot' asylums in Victorian England. Using the National Asylum for Idiots, Earlswood, as a case-study, David Wright investigates the social history of institutionalization and reveals the diversity of the 'insane' population and the complexities of institutional committal in Victorian England. He contends that institutional confinement of mentally disabled and mentally ill individuals in the nineteenth century cannot be understood independently of a detailed analysis of familial and community patterns of care.
This book explores the understudied history of the so-called ‘incurables’ in the Victorian period, the people identified as idiots, imbeciles and the weak-minded, as opposed to those thought to have curable conditions. It focuses on Caterham, England’s first state imbecile asylum, and analyses its founding, purpose, character, and most importantly, its residents, innovatively recreating the biographies of these people. Created to relieve pressure on London’s overcrowded workhouses, Caterham opened in September 1870. It was originally intended as a long-stay institution for the chronic and incurable insane paupers of the metropolis, more commonly referred to as idiots and imbeciles. This purpose instantly differentiates Caterham from the more familiar, and more researched, lunatic asylums, which were predicated on the notion of cure and restoration of the senses. Indeed Caterham, built following the welfare and sanitary reforms of the late 1860s, was an important feature of the Victorian institutional landscape, and it represented a shift in social, medical and political responsibility towards the care and management of idiot and imbecile paupers.
In Mental Health and Canadian Society leading researchers challenge generalisations about the mentally ill and the history of mental health in Canada. Considering the period from colonialism to the present, they examine such issues as the rise of the insanity plea, the Victorian asylum as a tourist attraction, the treatment of First Nations people in western mental hospitals, and post-World War II psychiatric research into LSD.
Victorian Asylum and School for the Blind (MELBOURNE)
The Social History of Psychiatry in the Victorian Era
Author: Andrew Scull
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
The Victorian Age saw the transformation of the madhouse into the asylum into the mental hospital; of the mad-doctor into the alienist into the psychiatrist; and of the madman (and madwoman) into the mental patient. In Andrew Scull's edited collection Madhouses, Mad-Doctors, and Madmen, contributors' essays offer a historical analysis of the issues that continue to plague the psychiatric profession today. Topics covered include the debate over the effectiveness of institutional or community treatment, the boundary between insanity and criminal responsibility, the implementation of commitment laws, and the differences in defining and treating mental illness based on the gender of the patient.
Following the failure of the 1848 revolution a great many political refugees headed for England - the richly cosmopolitan hub of an Empire, and the commercial-industrial locus of the world. Among the German contingent of exiles were, famously, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. But many less luminous names, no less well-educated in their native Germany, also settled in England and made their way there, whether as teachers or tailors, journalists or musicians, polemicists or political organizers. Few of these exiles knew how long they would have to call England home: some became keen Anglophiles, while others remained resolutely wedded in spirit to 'the old country.' Rosemary Ashton's study, first published in 1986, charts the fortunes of this disparate group and illuminates Victorian England through their eyes, so making a fascinating account of a neglected area of Anglo-German relations.
Criminal Insanity in Victorian and Edwardian Britain
Author: Kathryn Burtinshaw
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Category: True Crime
Following an assassination attempt on George III in 1800, new legislation significantly altered the way the criminally insane were treated by the judicial system in Britain. This book explores these changes and explains the rationale for purpose-built criminal lunatic asylums in the Victorian era.Specific case studies are used to illustrate and describe some of the earliest patients at Broadmoor Hospital the Criminal Lunatic Asylum for England and Wales and the Criminal Lunatic Department at Perth Prison in Scotland. Chapters examine the mental and social problems that led to crime alongside individuals considered to be weak-minded, imbeciles or idiots. Family murders are explored as well as individuals who killed for gain. An examination of psychiatric evidence is provided to illustrate how often an insanity defence was used in court and the outcome if the judge and jury did not believe these claims. Two cases are discussed where medical experts gave evidence that individuals were mentally irresponsible for their crimes but they were led to the gallows.Written by genealogists and historians, this book examines and identifies individuals who committed heinous crimes and researches the impact crime had on themselves, their families and their victims.
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
One of the most critical developments within `welfare' in recent years, has been the transformation of service users from `passive recipients' to `active subjects' of welfare policy and practice. People who use services have challenged paternalistic notions that professionals are always the experts, and have offered alternative analyses both of the experience of living with disability or illness, and of policy and practice responses to such experiences. Taking Over the Asylum explores the way in which users or survivors of mental health services - people too often regarded as `lacking capacity' to make decisions about their own care - have taken action to empower themselves. The authors examine evidence of the impact this action has had on their lives, on services, and on practice in mental health. They argue that disempowerment can be exacerbated by racist and gendered assumptions and they question the way we think about `mental health' and `mental illness' and what it means to live with `madness'. Drawing on the writings of activists and on international research evidence of action by users and survivors, this important book explores different strategies being adopted to achieve change both within the mental health system and in the lives of those who live with psychological distress. The wide-ranging analysis of current debates provides a valuable and clear insight into the potential and dilemmas of collective action by service users and survivors.
Life in a workhouse during the Victorian and Edwardian eras has been popularly characterised as a brutal existence. Charles Dickens famously portrayed workhouse inmates as being dirty, neglected, overworked adn at the mercy of exploitative masters. While there were undoubtedly establishments that conformed to this stereotype, there is also evidence of a more enlightened approach that has not yet come to public attention. This book establishes a true picture of what life was like in a workhouse, of why inmates entered them and of what they had to endure in their day-to-day routine. A comprehensive overview of the workshouse system gives a real and compelling insight into social and moral reasons behind their growth in the Victorian era, while the kind of distinctions that were drawn between inmates are looked into, which, along with the social stigma of having been a workhouse inmate, tell us much about class attitudes of the time. The book also looks at living conditions and duties of the staff who, in many ways, were prisoners of the workhouse. Michelle Higgs combines thorough research with a fresh outlook on a crucial period in British history, and in doing so paints a vivid portrait of an era and its social standards that continues to fascinate, and tells us much about the society we live in today.