Family History Federation

The Victorian Asylum (Sarah Rutherford)

Second Hand Book. A Shire Library Publication.

Dreaded and reviled by many, Britain’s nineteenth-century asylums provide a unique window on how the Victorians housed and treated the mentally ill. Despite initially good intentions, asylums became warehouses for society’s outcasts, where cures were few. Hidden in the countryside, they could eventually be found throughout the British Empire, on the Continent and in North America, with 120 or so in England and Wales alone. Today many asylum buildings have gone or are threatened. Most have closed as hospitals since the 1980s, and either been demolished or turned into private homes, their original use forgotten. But the memory of them lives on as a fascinating part of Victorian life that survived into modern times. The Victorian Asylum gives an insight into their history, their often imposing architecture and their later decline.


1 in stock

SKU : SB62

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