Investigating the Body in the Victorian Asylum: Doctors, Patients, and Practices

Investigating the Body in the Victorian Asylum: Doctors, Patients, and Practices

by Jennifer Wallis

NOOK Book1st ed. 2017 (eBook - 1st ed. 2017)

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783319567143
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Series: Mental Health in Historical Perspective
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 276
Sales rank: 280,917
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

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. 

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction.- Chapter 2: Skin.- Chapter 3: Muscle.- Chapter 4: Bone.- Chapter 5: Brain.- Chapter 6: Fluid.- Chapter 7: Conclusion.- Appendix: Demographic characteristics of West Riding Lunatic Asylum admissions.

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From the Publisher

“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)

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