Victorian Psychiatry

Or, beyond The Female Malady: some suggestions for reading in this flourishing historiographical area. The authors whose monographs and edited volumes are listed below have also produced useful articles, and see also John Walton's important articles based on research on the Lancaster Asylum. To find further details, search the Wellcome Library online catalogue.
And if you're looking for the records of Victorian mental institutions, try searching the Wellcome/National Archives Hospital Records Database. The public search engine will only search on name or town, but putting lunatic or asylum into the hospital name search box should produce what you are looking for. However, be warned, the survival of records of private lunatic asylums is very sparse indeed.

The historical records of key UK psychiatric institutions and personnel are being digitised by the Wellcome Library and made available online: both those of institutions held at the Wellcome and those held elsewhere.

There is an extremely useful website on the County Asylums, 1810-1948 including many images.

See also: The Devon County Lunatic Asylum: Social attitudes and mental illness in Devon 1845-1986:

'Based on archival case notes and supplemented by Medical Superintendents’ and Commissioners of Lunacy’s reports as well as interviews with former staff, we tell the stories of real patients and their journey into, and life within, the asylum, hoping to highlight changes in the legislation and care of people suffering from mental health problems.'

Jonathan Andrews, They're in the Trade... They Cannot Interfere-They Say: Scottish Lunacy Commissioners and Lunacy Reform in Nineteenth-century Scotland (1998)

Jonathan Andrews, Asa Briggs, Roy Porter, Penny Tucker, and Keir Waddington, The History of Bethlem (1997)

Jonathan Andrews and Anne Digby (eds), Sex and Seclusion, Class and Custody: Perspectives on Gender and Class in the History of British and Irish Psychiatry (2004)

Jonathan Andrews and Iain Smith (eds), Let there be light again" : a history of Gartnavel Royal Hospital from its beginnings to the present day. Essays written to mark the 150th anniversary in 1993 of Gartnavel Royal Hospital's existence on its present site (1993)

Peter Bartlett, The poor law of lunacy : the administration of pauper lunatics in mid-nineteenth century England (1999)

Peter Bartlett and David Wright, Outside the walls of the asylum: on "care and community" in modern Britain and Ireland (1999)

Anne Borsay and Pamela Dale, Mental health nursing: The working lives of paid carers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (2015) (mostly C20th but a couple of chapters on the C19th)

Steven Cherry, Mental Health Care in Modern England: The Norfolk Lunatic Asylum/St Andrew's Hospital, 1810-1998 (2003)

Pamela Dale and Joseph Melling (eds), Mental illness and learning disability since 1850 : finding a place for mental disorder in the United Kingdom (2005)

Anne Digby, Madness, morality, and medicine: a study of the York Retreat, 1796-1914 (1985)

Waltraud Ernst, Mad tales from the Raj: the European insane in British India, 1800-1858 (1991)

Waltraud Ernst (ed), Work, psychiatry and society, c. 1750-2015 (2016)

Bill Forsythe and Joseph Melling (eds), Insanity, Institutions and Society, 1800-1914 (1999)

Mark Jackson, The borderland of imbecility: medicine, society, and the fabrication of the feeble mind in late Victorian and Edwardian England (2000)

Thomas Knowles and Serena Trowbridge, eds. Insanity and the Lunatic Asylum in the Nineteenth Century (2014) (review here)

Charlotte Mackenzie, Psychiatry for the Rich: a history of Ticehurst Private Asylum, 1792-1917 (1992)

Hilary Marland, Dangerous Motherhood: Insanity and Childbirth in Victorian Britain (2004)

Joseph Melling and Bill Forsythe, The politics of madness : the state, insanity and society in England, 1845-1914 (2006)

Pamela Michael, Care and treatment of the mentally ill in North Wales, 1800-2000: In God's Keeping (2003)

Peter Nolan, A History of Mental Health Nursing (1996)

Janet Oppenheim, "Shattered nerves": doctors, patients, and depression in Victorian England (1991)

William Llywelyn Parry-Jones. The trade in lunacy: a study of private madhouses in England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (1972)

Andrew Scull, Charlotte MacKenzie, Nicholas Hervey, Masters of Bedlam: the transformation of the mad-doctoring trade (1995)

Anna Shepherd, Institutionalizing the Insane in Nineteenth-Century England (2014) (more information)

Leonard D. Smith, Cure, comfort, and safe custody : public lunatic asylums in early nineteenth century England (1999)

Mark Stevens, Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum (2013)

Mark Stevens, Life in the Victorian Asylum: The World of Nineteenth Century Mental Health Care (2014)

Akihito Suzuki, Madness at Home: The Psychiatrist, the Patient, and the Family in England, 1820-1860 (2006): further information

Mathew Thomson, The problem of mental deficiency: eugenics, democracy, and social policy in Britain c.1870-1959 (1998)

Trevor Turner, Diagnostic Analysis of the Casebooks of Ticehurst House Asylum, 1845-1890, Monograph Supplement to Psychological Medicine (1992)

Sara Wise, Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England (2012)

David Wright, Mental Disability in Victorian England: The Earlswood Asylum 1847-1901 (2001)

David Wright and Anne Digby (eds), From Idiocy to Mental Deficiency: Historical Perspectives on People with Learning Disabilities (1996)

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Last modified 25 January 2017