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© 2020

London and its Asylums, 1888-1914

Politics and Madness

Book

Part of the Mental Health in Historical Perspective book series (MHHP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Robert Ellis
    Pages 27-72
  3. Robert Ellis
    Pages 73-115
  4. Robert Ellis
    Pages 117-163
  5. Robert Ellis
    Pages 165-205
  6. Robert Ellis
    Pages 207-251
  7. Robert Ellis
    Pages 253-260
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 261-296

About this book

Introduction

'This is an important and timely contribution to the politics of mental health. Ellis’s forensic dissection of the politics and finance of asylums in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century London demonstrates the evolution of asylum and mental health care but also provides a nuanced account of local government and welfare activism in this period. This book is highly recommended for those interested not only in the history of mental health care, but also the sometimes internecine conflicts which underpinned urban government in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.'
Professor Heather Shore, Director of MCPHH, Department of History, Politics and Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

This book explores the impact that politics had on the management of mental health care at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 1888 and the introduction of the Local Government Act marked a turning point in which democratically elected bodies became responsible for the management of madness for the first time. With its focus on London in the period leading up to the First World War, it offers a new way to look at institutions and to consider their connections to wider issues that were facing the capital and the nation. The chapters that follow place London at the heart of international networks and debates relating to finance, welfare, architecture, scientific and medical initiatives, and the developing responses to immigrant populations. Overall, it shines a light on the relationships between mental health policies and other ideological priorities.

Keywords

Local Government Act 1888 County asylum Mental health services Stigma and attitudes Party politics Mental health policy Bethlem Middlesex Health governance Hospital finances Insane Aged or elderly patients

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Music, Humanities & MediaUniversity of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK

About the authors

Robert Ellis is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Huddersfield, UK. He has published widely on the histories of mental ill-health and learning disability, and has worked in partnership on a range of impact and engagement projects that have emphasized their contemporary relevance. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title London and its Asylums, 1888-1914
  • Book Subtitle Politics and Madness
  • Authors Robert Ellis
  • Series Title Mental Health in Historical Perspective
  • Series Abbreviated Title Mental Health in Historical Perspective
  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-44432-7
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-44431-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-44434-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-44432-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 296
  • Number of Illustrations 7 b/w illustrations, 6 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Social History
    Urban History
    History of Medicine
    History of Britain and Ireland
  • Buy this book on publisher's site

Reviews

"This is an important and timely contribution to the politics of mental health. Ellis’s forensic dissection of the politics and finance of asylums in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century London demonstrates the evolution of asylum and mental health care but also provides a nuanced account of local government and welfare activism in this period. This book is highly recommended for those interested not only in the history of mental health care, but also the sometimes internecine conflicts which underpinned urban government in the Victorian and Edwardian eras." (Professor Heather Shore, Director of MCPHH, Department of History, Politics and Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)

"An insightful account of how asylums functioned in fin-de-siècle England and the forces that shaped their everyday operations. Few histories of psychiatry compare in revealing the sheer scale of asylumdom, and the complex practical negotiations involved in building and running these institutions." (Gayle Davis, University of Edinburgh, UK)