By Susan Piddock

The background of lunatic asylums – what can we particularly learn about them? motion pictures and tv courses have portrayed them as areas of horror the place the sufferers are constrained and left to hear the cries in their fellow inmates in melancholy. yet what was once the realm of 19th century lunatic asylums particularly like? Are those pictures real? This publication will discover this international utilizing the strategies of old archaeology and historical past.

In the past due eighteenth and early 19th centuries the appearance of latest remedies for madness in line with ethical remedy and non-restraint, and an expanding social wisdom of the stipulations within which the insane have been being saved ended in a brand new concentrate on the provisions made for the insane in “madhouses”, lunatic asylums and hospitals. according to this new concentration these attracted to the reform of those areas and the hot therapy regimes started to describe what lunatic asylums may be in the event that they have been going to deliver the insane again to sanity. during this ebook 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 consequences 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 e-book seeks to spot the forces at paintings inside each 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 positive factors might be without delay relating to a few key elements, those have been: entry to a pool of information approximately lunatic asylum layout; fiscal constraints; the remedy 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 resources for A Space of Their Own: The Archaeology of Nineteenth Century Lunatic Asylums in Britain, South Australia and Tasmania

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37 38 4. The Changing Face of Insanity and Rise of the Institution of the lunatic asylum to facilitate their operation. Moral treatment offered the hope of a cure in an appropriate environment away from the exciting causes of the home environment (Hill 1838: 6), while nonrestraint, which also emphasized the appropriate environment, sought to make life within the asylum more bearable and humane. These two treatment regimes formed part of the background against which the concept of what I have called the ‘ideal’ lunatic asylum appeared.

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. Lunacy in South Australia has received only limited attention. D. Thesis, The Treatment of Mental Illness in South Australia, 1852–1884. From Care to Custody (1990), looks at the treatment of the insane following the American model of the shift from care to custody.

40 4. The Changing Face of Insanity and Rise of the Institution Classification formed part of the system of rewards and punishments at The Retreat. Patients were divided into various classes based on their behavior - ‘disorderly and disruptive’ and ‘clean and tranquil’ were two such groups. These groups were housed in different parts of the house. If a patient was well behaved they were moved into the better furnished rooms and allowed access to the gardens, if not, they were demoted to the lesser rooms occupied by the noisier patients and allowed fewer privileges.

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