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The History of Bethlem Hardcover – 9 Oct 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (9 Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415017734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415017732
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 5.1 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,367,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"A must-have for the historian of psychiatry."-"Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences "Stunning. At last Bethlem has the comprehensive history it deserves, firmly grounded in a wider social and political context. With a deft touch the authors have unpicked the tapestry of myth and misconception surrounding Bethlem, to reveal the intricate twists and turns of its various existences. Psychiatric historiography has been considerably enriched."-Nick Hervey, co-author of "Masters of Bedlam


Now 750 years old, Bethlem Hospital has been continuously involved in the care of the mentally ill since at least 1400 - as such it has a strong claim to be the oldest foundation in Europe with an unbroken history of sheltering and treating the mentally disturbed. This text examines Bethlem's role within the caring institutions of London and Britain and its place in the history of psychiatry. Bethlem is not simply Europe's oldest psychiatric establishment; it is the most famous and the most notorious. It has assumed many guises over its 750 year history, it began as a religious foundation in the context of the Crusades. It became a hospital for the insane by accident, survived complex battles between Crown and Papacy, Parliament and the Corporation of the City of London, and gained great prominence for many years as Britain's only lunatic asylum. The name of Bethlem has actually turned into everyday speech and become part of a national culture. From Shakespeare's time, "Bedlam" was becoming detached from the institution and assuming a life and a persona.

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31 July 2012
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase

Most helpful customer reviews on 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 reviews
K. C. Dolan
5.0 out of 5 starscomprehensive, detailed history of controversial institution
20 May 2011 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
2 people found this helpful.

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