Victorian Asylum

Victorian Asylum

by Sarah Rutherford
     
 

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

See more details below

Overview

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.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780747806691
Publisher:
Osprey Publishing, Limited
Publication date:
09/23/2008
Series:
Shire Library Series
Pages:
56
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.20(d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Rutherford is a Kew-trained horticulturist who obtained an MA in the conservation of historic parks and gardens at York University. She later worked for English Heritage assessing sites across England for the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, becoming Head of the Register. During this time she researched and completed her doctoral thesis on the landscapes of nineteenth-century lunatic asylums and visited many before they were closed and redeveloped. She is now an enthusiastic freelance consultant researching and writing conservation plans for parks and gardens.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >