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The Early Public Lunatic Institutions of England Part I (eBook)

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In the published literature of madness, and its institutional management, the earliest English institutions for the mad have tended to be treated as part of a “bad old days,” from which progress has been painfully made to modern knowledge, and humanitarian treatment, of mental illness. This book takes issue with this simplistic account and re-examines these early institutions, using their own records. It suggests that the institutional governors, while somewhat distanced from day to day institutional management, were relatively well-intentioned, and that the institutions were far more complex in their organisation and functioning than has previously been reported.

In the published literature of madness, and its institutional management, the earliest English institutions for the mad have tended to be treated as part of a “bad old days,” from which progress has been painfully made to modern knowledge, and humanitarian treatment, of mental illness. This book takes issue with this simplistic account and re-examines these early institutions, using their own records. It suggests that the institutional governors, while somewhat distanced from day to day institutional management, were relatively well-intentioned, and that the institutions were far more complex in their organisation and functioning than has previously been reported.


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by robert j. wycherley

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