By Susan Piddock
The heritage of lunatic asylums – what will we rather find out about them? movies and tv courses have portrayed them as locations of horror the place the sufferers are limited and left to hear the cries in their fellow inmates in depression. yet what was once the area of 19th century lunatic asylums quite like? Are those pictures actual? This ebook will discover this international utilizing the strategies of ancient archaeology and heritage.
In the past due eighteenth and early 19th centuries the arrival of recent remedies for madness in response to ethical remedy and non-restraint, and an expanding social wisdom of the stipulations during which the insane have been being saved resulted in a brand new concentrate on the provisions made for the insane in “madhouses”, lunatic asylums and hospitals. in keeping with this new concentration these drawn to the reform of those locations and the recent therapy regimes started to describe what lunatic asylums will be in the event that they have been going to convey the insane again to sanity. during this e-book a brand new technique is built utilizing those descriptions because the foundation of a sequence of ‘ideal’ asylum types. A comparability of those ‘ideal’ asylums to the lunatic asylums in-built England, South Australia and Tasmania permits us to go into the area of the 19th century asylum, and to appreciate the consequences of attaining or failing to accomplish the ‘ideal’ asylum on existence inside of those places.
Through the case stories of britain, South Australia, and Tasmania, this publication seeks to spot the forces at paintings inside every one society that ended in the actual provisions being made for the insane in every one position. will probably be argued that the adoption of the ‘ideal’ asylum gains may be without delay regarding a couple of key elements, those have been: entry to a pool of information approximately lunatic asylum layout; financial constraints; the remedy mode followed; and social perceptions of who was once to be accommodated within the asylum - paupers, the center category, the better classification, or convicts.
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Extra resources for A Space of Their Own: The Archaeology of Nineteenth Century Lunatic Asylums in Britain, South Australia and Tasmania
In 1838 Robert Gardiner Hill described what he considered to be four essential requisites of the new system of management: 1. A suitable building must be provided, in an airy and open situation, with ground sufficient for several court-yards, gardens, and pleasure-grounds, commanding (if possible) a pleasing and extensive prospect. 2. There must be proper classification of the patients, more especially by night (original italics) 3. There must also be a sufficient number of strong, tall, and active attendants, whose remuneration must be such as to secure persons of good character, and steady principle, to undertake their arduous duties.
Similarly the available government documents reflected different management structures and the survival of the original papers. The choice of a cut off point of 1890 for the research in Tasmania and South Australia was arbitrary and reflected the survival of plans and the time frame for the construction of the institutions. The sample size of three lunatic institutions in total for both colonies meant that statistical methods of analysis were not viable and the conclusions derived cannot be seen as reflective of all Australian colonies.
If restraints were to be removed, some system of controlling or managing the patients had to be in place to prevent disorder. The regime as envisaged by Browne was based on the employment of keepers with strong, healthy, and well-constituted minds; the classification of patients; and “by the exercise of sound selection of those who are to associate together” (Browne 1837: 152). John Conolly in his Treatment of the Insane Without Mechanical Restraints (1856) expanded on Hill’s ideas and described his application of the non-restraint system at the Middlesex County Asylum at Hanwell from 1839 onwards.