The Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness and Society in Britain, 1700-1900

Overview

In this elegantly written book, the author studies the evolution of the treatment of lunacy in England and Wales, tracing what lies behind the transformations in social practices and beliefs, and examining how institutional management of the mad came to replace traditional systems of family and local care.
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Overview

In this elegantly written book, the author studies the evolution of the treatment of lunacy in England and Wales, tracing what lies behind the transformations in social practices and beliefs, and examining how institutional management of the mad came to replace traditional systems of family and local care.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Scull (sociology and science studies, U. of California, San Diego) here presents a thorough reworking and enlargement of his text Museums of Madness (Allen Lane, 1979). He limns the evolution of the treatment of lunacy, emphasizing the emergence of the asylum, with its often conflicting utopian aims and bitter reality. Graced by 20-some engravings, drawings and floor plans. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300050516
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 6/23/1993
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Ch. 1 The Rise of the Asylum 1
1 The Social Control of the Mad 1
2 Changing Responses to Insanity: Their Nature and Sources 11
3 Madness and Market Society 26
4 The Differentiation of the Mad 34
5 The Deviant and the State 42
Ch. 2 The Social Context of Reform 46
1 Augustan Views of Madness 47
2 Bedlam and the Bedlamites 51
3 Domesticating the Mad 56
4 Wrestling with the Demons of Madness 64
5 The Technology of Treatment 69
6 Free Trade in Lunacy 77
7 The Reformers 83
8 The Cultural Meaning of Madness 87
9 Moral Treatment and the York Retreat 96
10 Sources of the Changing Conceptions of Insanity 104
11 Private Investigations at the York Asylum and at Bethlem 110
Ch. 3 The Children of the Curative Asylum 115
1 The 1815-16 Parliamentary Inquiry 115
2 The Fate of the First Reform Bills 122
3 Renewed Parliamentary Investigation 125
4 The Elaboration of a Pro-Institutional Ideology 132
5 The Asylum's Critics 138
6 The Model Institution 146
7 The Reformers Triumphant 155
8 The Ideal and the Reality 165
9 Controlling the Uncontrollable 169
Ch. 4 From Madness to Mental Illness: Medical Men as Moral Entrepreneurs 175
1 The Meanings of Madness 175
2 Madness and Medicine 178
3 The Obstacles to a Medical Monopoly 185
4 The Threats Posed by Moral Treatment 188
5 The Weaknesses of Moral Treatment as a Professional Ideology 198
6 Medical Resistance to Reform 202
7 The Defence of Medical Hegemony 206
8 Persuasion at the Local Level 212
9 Madness as Mental Illness 216
Ch. 5 Mad-doctors and Magistrates: Psychiatry's Struggle for Professional Autonomy 232
1 Problems for the New Profession 232
2 Managers of the Mad 244
3 Extra-Institutional Practice 251
4 The Defence of Mental Medicine 259
5 Medical Authority in the Asylum 262
Ch. 6 'Museums for the Collection of Insanity' 267
1 The Growth of the Country Asylum System 267
2 The Accumulation of Chronic Cases 269
3 Mammoth Asylums 277
4 The Custodial Institution 284
5 The Maintenance of Order 289
6 Asylums for the Upper Classes 293
7 Warehousing the Patients 303
8 Pressures to Economize 310
9 The Critics of Asylumdom 315
10 Degeneration and Decay 324
11 The Outcome of Reform 332
Ch. 7 The Social Production of Insanity 334
1 Rising Numbers of Madmen 335
2 Official Explanations of the Increase 338
3 An Alternative Explanation 344
4 The Multiplication of Madness 352
5 The Expanding Empire of Asylumdom and the Growth of Lunacy 363
6 Warehouses of the Unwanted 370
Ch. 8 The Legacy of Reform 375
1 Competing Accounts of Lunacy Reform 376
2 'Experts' and the Control of Deviance 381
3 Community Treatment 388
4 The Therapeutic State? 391
Bibliography 395
Index 427
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