2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
History of those London deemed mad.,
This review is from: Bedlam: London and Its Mad (Paperback)
I found this a thoughtful history of the treatment of those considered mad by society. It was given structure by focusing on London and its most famous asylum.
It did a grand job of packing a lot into a relatively small volume. We read about social norms, politics, philosophy and medicine and how each impacted on the work of the asylum. Of course the case histories of some of the inmates are the most moving and informative parts of the book, but the author manages not to sensationalise or sentimentalise them.
She is also not too judgemental about the past treatments of residents. Each era is set in the context of attitudes and medical practice of the time.The last chapter could have said more, as sadly mental health services are not in a state of improvement, but maybe this was outside the remit of this particular book.