By Susan Piddock
The historical past of lunatic asylums – what can we rather find out about them? motion pictures and tv courses have portrayed them as areas of horror the place the sufferers are limited and left to hear the cries in their fellow inmates in melancholy. yet what used to be the realm of 19th century lunatic asylums quite like? Are those photographs actual? This booklet will discover this global utilizing the options of old archaeology and heritage.
In the past due eighteenth and early 19th centuries the appearance of latest remedies for madness in keeping with ethical treatment and non-restraint, and an expanding social wisdom of the stipulations during which the insane have been being stored ended in a brand new specialize in the provisions made for the insane in “madhouses”, lunatic asylums and hospitals. in accordance with this new concentration these drawn to the reform of those areas and the hot remedy regimes started to describe what lunatic asylums might be in the event that they have been going to carry the insane again to sanity. during this e-book a brand new method is built utilizing those descriptions because the foundation of a chain of ‘ideal’ asylum versions. A comparability of those ‘ideal’ asylums to the lunatic asylums inbuilt England, South Australia and Tasmania permits us to go into the area of the 19th century asylum, and to appreciate the results of accomplishing or failing to accomplish the ‘ideal’ asylum on existence inside of those places.
Through the case reports of britain, South Australia, and Tasmania, this ebook seeks to spot the forces at paintings inside of every one society that ended in the actual provisions being made for the insane in each one position. will probably be argued that the adoption of the ‘ideal’ asylum good points may be without delay relating to a few key components, those have been: entry to a pool of information approximately lunatic asylum layout; monetary constraints; the therapy mode followed; and social perceptions of who used to be to be accommodated within the asylum - paupers, the center type, the better classification, or convicts.
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Additional info for A Space of Their Own: The Archaeology of Nineteenth Century Lunatic Asylums in Britain, South Australia and Tasmania
These asylums would embody the new ideas and treatments practices being advocated by reformers. So, the parallel forces of those advocating the new treatments of the insane and those seeking to provide appropriate living conditions came together. But what was the new asylum environment to be like? How did it support the new treatment regimes? It was in response to this need that the lunacy reformers sought to describe what the lunatic asylum should be. Reading these works by lunacy reformers led to a second higher level of questions being developed; these were designed to use the techniques of archaeology to find the answers: 1 For a discussion of early treatment of the insane see Roy Porter’s Mind Forg’d Manacles.
South Australia, established in 1836, was a free colony which did not receive convicts, while Tasmania, established in 1803, began its existence as a convict colony and received transported convicts until 1853. It was anticipated that the provisions made would reflect the composition of each society, and that provisions made for free colonists would vary from those made for convicts. Further, by using two colonies it was possible to more accurately determine what variables were affecting the design of the lunatic asylums in Australia.
This framework could then be tested against the lunatic asylums actually built. The descriptive framework used includes details such as site location, the layout of buildings, and the provision of particular rooms (this will be discussed in more detail in Chapter Five). This was compared to data sets on each asylum which were drawn from plans, photographs, and building histories compiled by the author with a specific focus on building chronologies, room descriptions and changes to the buildings.
A Space of Their Own: The Archaeology of Nineteenth Century Lunatic Asylums in Britain, South Australia and Tasmania by Susan Piddock