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The Victorian Asylum (Shire Library)

Rutherford, Sarah

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ISBN 10: 0747806691 / ISBN 13: 9780747806691
Published by Shire Publications
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Victorian Asylum (Shire Library)

Publisher: Shire Publications

Binding: PAPERBACK

Book Condition:New

About this title

Synopsis:

The Victorian lunatic asylum has a special place in history. Dreaded and reviled by many, these nineteenth-century buildings provide a unique window on how the Victorians housed and treated the mentally ill.

Despite initially good intentions, they became warehouses for society's outcasts at a time when cures were far fewer than hoped for. Isolated, hidden in the countryside and surrounded by high walls, they were eventually distributed throughout Britain, the Empire, the Continent and North America, with 120 or so in England and Wales alone.

Now the memory of them is fading, and many of the buildings have gone or are threatened. Most have been closed as hospitals since the 1980s and either been demolished or turned into prestigious private apartments, their original use largely forgotten.

Their memory deserves rehabilitation as a fascinating part of Victorian life that survived into modern times. In The Victorian Asylum, Sarah Rutherford gives an insight into their history, their often imposing architecture, and their later decline, and brings to life these haunting buildings, some of which still survive today.

About the Author:

Sarah Rutherford is a Kew-trained horticulturist who obtained an MA in the conservation of historic parks and gardens at York University. She later worked for English Heritage assessing sites across England for the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, becoming Head of the Register. During this time she researched and completed her doctoral thesis on the landscapes of nineteenth-century lunatic asylums and visited many before they were closed and redeveloped. She is now an enthusiastic freelance consultant researching and writing conservation plans for parks and gardens.

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