‘Much Below Insects, and so Little Above Sensitive Plants’: Constructing the Insane Child

  • Steven J. Taylor
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Childhood book series (PSHC)


The chapter begins by exploring the process of admission to an asylum in the years following 1845. Then it offers a detailed examination of the children confined inside of them that explores issues of age, gender, diagnosis, causation, and chronology. An investigation into the causative explanations is conducted that offers fresh insights into childhood and insanity during the period. This includes a discussion of the family role in the admission process before moving to an in-depth look at the most common diagnosis for children, idiocy.


Nineteenth Century Learn Disability Mental Disability Mental Impairment Medical Certificate 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven J. Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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