Mental Health in Historical Perspective
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Investigating the Body in the Victorian Asylum

Doctors, Patients, and Practices

Authors: Wallis, Jennifer

  • Explores the asylum beyond simply an institution of socio-demographic interest, but also as an experimental space
  • Brings together the history of psychiatry with the history of the body by examining the ways in which the body was investigated within the asylum
  • Utilises an innovative structure mirroring the contemporary process of dissection in the asylum to explore everyday psychiatric practices
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eBook  
  • ISBN 978-3-319-56714-3
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover £20.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • Due: December 14, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-56713-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.

This book explores how the body was investigated in the late nineteenth-century asylum in Britain. As more and more Victorian asylum doctors looked to the bodily fabric to reveal the ‘truth’ of mental disease, a whole host of techniques and technologies were brought to bear upon the patient's body. These practices encompassed the clinical and the pathological, from testing the patient's reflexes to dissecting the brain.

Investigating the Body in the Victorian Asylum takes a unique approach to the topic, conducting a chapter-by-chapter dissection of the body. It considers how asylum doctors viewed and investigated the skin, muscles, bones, brain, and bodily fluids. The book demonstrates the importance of the body in nineteenth-century psychiatry as well as how the asylum functioned as a site of research, and will be of value to historians of psychiatry, the body, and scientific practice.

About the authors

Jennifer Wallis is Lecturer in Cultural and Intellectual History at Queen Mary University of London, UK, where she teaches courses on the history of psychiatry, the body, and nineteenth-century Britain. Her work has previously been published in History of Psychiatry and Medical Humanities, among others. 

Reviews

“A highly original and stimulating approach to the history of psychiatry. It is likely to be added to a whole range of reading lists, including the histories of medicine, psychiatry and the body. I will certainly be adding it to mine.” (Gayle Davis, Senior Lecturer in the History of Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK)

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-3-319-56714-3
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover £20.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • Due: December 14, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-56713-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Investigating the Body in the Victorian Asylum
Book Subtitle
Doctors, Patients, and Practices
Authors
Series Title
Mental Health in Historical Perspective
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-56714-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-56714-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-56713-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 276
Number of Illustrations and Tables
9 b/w illustrations
Topics