Mental Disability in Victorian England : The Earlswood Asylum 1847-1901

Overview

Recently, we have witnessed a growing scholarly interest in the history of disability. In this book, 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—using the National Asylum for Idiots (Earlswood) as a case study. He contends that institutional confinement of mentally disabled and mentally ill individuals in the nineteenth century cannot be understood independently of a ...

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Overview

Recently, we have witnessed a growing scholarly interest in the history of disability. In this book, 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—using the National Asylum for Idiots (Earlswood) as a case study. 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"David Wright's book is both careful and intelligent. It is careful in the collection of evidence...and in the unostentatious and unforced use of these materials to recount and analyze the Earlswood story. ... The book's intelligence is in Wright's refusal to be confined by the weight of material he has at his disposal. ...each identifiable voice of parent, sibling, or idiot child finds a place in the index, alongside authorities, founders, and historians. This is history from the bottom up. Not the least benefit of this valuable monograph is its ability to bring to the fore the lived reality of its subject, within the assurance of a sound and scholarly thesis."—American Historical Review

"...an innovative work of medical history that draws creatively upon the tools of interdisciplinary scholarship to make a provocative set of arguments about the fate of the developmentally disabled in Victorian Britain."—Journal of Interdisciplinary History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199246397
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/6/2001
  • Series: Oxford Historical Monographs Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

McMaster University
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