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This seminar considers the challenges of a shift of interest from mental illness and mental deficiency to mental health in the interwar period. Students should reflect on the strategies available for addressing mental health within medicine, the arguments advanced, and the obstacles encountered. They will search the medical journal, The Lancet, for evidence on these issues.


Armstrong, David, The Political Anatomy of the Body: Medical Knowledge in Britain in the Twentieth Century (1983), chapters 3 & 7.

Bartlett, Peter and Wright, David (eds.), Outside the Walls of the Asylum: The History of Care in the Community 1750-2000 (1999)

Clark, Michael, ‘The Rejection of Psychological Approaches to Mental Disorder in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Psychiatry’, in Andrew Scull (ed.), Madhouses, Mad-Doctors, and Madmen: The Social History of Psychiatry in the Victorian Era (1981).

Davies, Kerry. '"A small corner that's for myself" : space, place and patients' experiences of mental health care, 1948-98'. In Topp, Leslie Elizabeth, 1969-; Moran, James E.; Andrews, Jonathan, 1961- (ed.), Madness, architecture and the built environment : psychiatric spaces in historical context (Routledge studies in the social history of medicine, 27) (New York; London: Routledge, 2007), 305-20.

Davies, Kerry. '"Silent and censured travellers"? : patients' narratives and patients' voices : perspectives on the history of mental illness since 1948'. Social History of Medicine, 14:2 (2001), 267-92.

Davis, Gayle. The cruel madness of love : sex, syphilis and psychiatry in Scotland, 1880-1930 (Clio Medica, 85).

Evans, Bonnie; Rahman, Shahina; Jones, Edgar, 1953-. 'Managing the "unmanageable" : interwar child psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, London'. History of Psychiatry, 19:4 (2008), 454-75.

Hayward, Rhodri. 'Desperate housewives and model amoebae : the invention of suburban neurosis in inter-war Britain'. In Jackson, Mark (ed.), Health and the modern home (Routledge studies in the social history of medicine, 31) (New York: Routledge, 2007), 42-62.

Hayward, Rhodri. 'From Clever Hans to Michael Balint : emotion, influence and the unconscious in British medical practice'. In Alberti, Fay Bound, 1971- (ed.), Medicine, emotion and disease, 1700-1950 (Houndsmills; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 144-68.

Hendrick, Harry, ‘Children’s Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health in Early Post-Second World War Britain: The Case of Unrestricted Hospital Visiting’, in Hofstra and Marland (eds.), Cultures of Child Health, 213-42.

Jackson, Mark, The Borderline of Imbecility: Medicine, Society and the Fabrication of the Feeble Mind in Late Victorian and Edwardian England (2000).

Jones, Edgar, 1953-; Rahman, Shahina. 'Framing Mental Illness, 1923-1939 : The Maudsley Hospital and its Patients'. Social History of Medicine, 21:1 (2008), 107-25.

Lawrence, Chris, ‘Still Incommunicable: Clinical Holists and Medical Knowledge in Interwar Britain’, in C. Lawrence and G. Wisz (eds.), Greater than their Parts: Holism in Biomedicine, 1920-1950 (1998), 94-111.

Long, Vicky, ‘Changing Public Representations of Mental Illness in Britain, 1870-1970’ Ph.D. thesis (University of Warwick, 2004)

Pines, Malcolm, ‘The Development of the Psychodynamic Movement’, in Berrios and Freeman (eds.), 150 Years of British Psychiatry Volume 1 (1991(, 206-31.

Michael, Pam, Care and Treatment of the Mentally Ill in North Wales, 1800-2000 (2000).

Roy Porter, ‘Two Cheers for Psychiatry! The Social History of Mental Disorder in Twentieth-Century Britain, in G. Berrios & H. Freeman (eds.), 150 Years of British Psychiatry: Volume 2 The Aftermath (1996), 383-406.

Rait, S., ‘Early British Psychoanalysis and the Medico-Psychological Clinic’, History Workshop Journal, 58 (2004), 63-85.

Richards, Graham, ‘Psychology and the Churches in Britain, 1919-1939: Symptoms of Conversion’, History of the Human Sciences, 13 (2000), 57-84.

Root, Sheryl, ‘Healing, Touch, and Medicine, c. 1890-1950’ Ph.D. thesis (University of Warwick, 2006).

Rose, Nikolas, The Psychological Complex (1985).

Shorter, Edward, From Paralysis to Fatigue: A History of Psychosomatic Illness in the Modern Era (1992).

Stewart, John, 1951 Dec. 3-. '"I thought you would want to come and see his home" : child guidance and psychiatric social work in inter-war Britain'. In Jackson, Mark (ed.), Health and the modern home (Routledge studies in the social history of medicine, 31) (New York: Routledge, 2007), 111-27.

Swanson, Gillian. 'Serenity, Self-regard and the Genetic Sequence : Social Psychiatry and Preventive Eugenics in Britain, 1930s-1950s'. New Formations, 60 (2007), 50-65.

Thomson, Mathew, The Problem of Mental Deficiency: Eugenics, Democracy and Social Policy in Britain, 1870-1959 (1998).

Thomson, ‘Medicine and the Psychological’, Psychological Subjects, pp. 173-206.

Thomson, Mathew, ‘Mental Hygiene as an International Movement’, in Paul Weindling (ed.), International Health Organisations and Movements, 1919-1939 (1995), pp. 283-304.

Thomson, Mathew, ‘Neurasthenia in Britain’, in M. Gijswijt-Hofstra & Roy Porter (eds.), Cultures of Neurasthenia: From Beard to the First World War (2001), pp. 77-96.

Thomson, Mathew, ‘Constituting Citizenship: Mental Deficiency, Mental Health and Human Rights in Inter-War Britain’, in C. Lawrence & A. Mayer (eds.), Regenerating England: Medicine and Culture in Inter-War Britain (2000), pp. 231-50.

Toms, Jonathan, ‘Mental Hygiene to Civil Rights: MIND and the Problematic of Personhood, c. 1900 to c. 1980’, (Ph.D. thesis: University of London, 2005).

Turner, Trevor, ‘James Crichton Browns and the Anti-Psycho-Analysts’, in Berrios and Freeman (eds.), 150 Years of British Psychiatry, Volume 2 (1996), 144-55.

Westwood, Louise, ‘A Quiet Revolution in Brighton: Dr Helen Boyle’s Pioneering Approach to Mental Health Care, 1899-1939’, Social History of Medicine, 14 (2001), 439-57.

Westwood, Louise. 'Care in the Community of the Mentally Disordered : The Case of the Guardianship Society, 1900-1939'. Social History of Medicine, 20:1 (2007), 57-72.

Sources: The Lancet (online).