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Masters of Bedlam
Author: Andrew Scull

ISBN: 9780691637327
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 376
Published: 19 March 2016
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.2
Description:



Through an examination of the fascinating lives and careers of a series of nineteenth-century "mad-doctors,"Masters of Bedlam provides a unique perspective on the creation of the modern profession of psychiatry, taking us from the secret and shady practices of the trade in lunacy, through the utopian expectations that were aroused by the lunacy reform movement, to the dismal realities of the barracks-asylums--those Victorian museums of madness within which most nineteenth-century alienists found themselves compelled to practice. Across a century that spans the period from an unreformed Bedlam to the construction of a post-Darwinian bio-psychiatry centered on the new Maudsley Hospital, from a therapeutics of bleeding, purging, and close confinement through the era of moral treatment and nonrestraint to a fin-de-siecle degenerationism and despair, men claiming expertise in the treatment of mental disorder sought to construct a collective identity as trustworthy and scientifically qualified professionals. This fascinating series of biographies answers the question: How successful were they in creating such a new identity?.

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