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Early Twentieth-Century Self-Harm: Cut Throats, General and Mental Medicine

  • Chris Millard
Open Access
Chapter
Part of the Mental Health in Historical Perspective book series (MHHP)

Abstract

At some point before five P.M. on 25 June 1914, in the small coastal town of Lowestoft, Suffolk, 59-year old Louisa Ashby cuts her own throat with a razor and lies down on her bed. Her eight-year-old granddaughter, Dora, discovers her covered in blood, and runs back downstairs to inform her mother that ‘grandmother had cut her finger’.1 Ashby is rushed to the nearby Lowestoft and North Suffolk Hospital, where, according to the East Suffolk Police:

The [hospital] matron then requested that an officer should stay and take the sole charge and responsibility of the patient. I told her we could not do that, and that two of her sons were present [for this purpose], she said, ‘They are no good, you brought her here and must take the sole charge of her, or take her away’.2

Keywords

Attempted Suicide Mental Hospital Voluntary Hospital Mental Medicine Mental Block 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

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    It is unclear when the practice of police watching emerges, but it is probable that it comes to renewed prominence in the mid-nineteenth century, when ‘attempted suicide’ becomes a common-law offence, what Olive Anderson calls the ‘new offence’. O. Anderson, Suicide in Victorian and Edwardian England Oxford, Clarendon (1987): 263–417Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Chris Millard 2015

Open Access This Chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Millard
    • 1
  1. 1.Queen MaryUniversity of LondonUK

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