The Victorian Asylum by Sarah RutherfordThe Victorian Asylum by Sarah Rutherford

The Victorian Asylum

bySarah Rutherford

Paperback | September 23, 2008

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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.

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 d...
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Title:The Victorian AsylumFormat:PaperbackDimensions:56 pages, 7.95 × 5.44 × 0.23 inPublished:September 23, 2008Publisher:Bloomsbury USALanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0747806691

ISBN - 13:9780747806691

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Table of Contents

Introduction · Early Asylums: From Bedlam to Moral Therapy · Building the Asylum to Cure · Life in the Asylum · Specialist Asylums · The Last Days of the Asylum · Further Reading · Places to Visit · Index