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Psychiatry and the 'Manufacture of Madness'

This week we will explore the ways in which the psychiatric profession consolidated itself in the 19th century. Particular attention will be paid to the role of psychiatrists in the asylum, in evolving diagnostic and treatment regimes, their changing status and role as expert witnesses in the courtroom, which brought them increasingly to the attention of the public and gave them opportunities to display knowledge and competency in dealing with the mentally ill. This story of consolidation is far from straightforward and was influenced strongly by the efforts of doctors to establish themselves, while working in an environment which was highly stigmatised. We will also explore two chapters in Masters of Bedlam (Conolly and Maudsley), which provides excellent overviews of individual psychiatrists and their careers, and bookmarks the shift from optimism to pessimism in asylum practice.
The history of prison medicine and psychiatry and criminal insanity is emerging as a robust subject area and I will direct you to readings on this theme, and see for what I get up to when I'm not teaching our website histprisonhealth, which includes blogs on responses to mental illness in prison.
A psychiatrist by C. Josef (1930)
  1. How did psychiatry consolidate itself as a specialist field of practice in the 19th century?
  2. Did asylums become ‘museums of madness’ curated by doctors in the 19th century?
  3. Why and in what ways was the insanity plea employed in the 19th century?
  4. Did forensic psychiatry bolster the reputation of the psychiatric profession?
  5. How did criminal lunatic asylums and prisons become new sites of the practice of psychiatry in the 19th century?
See the excellent on-line source: ‘The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London 1674- 1834’ for cases of criminal lunacy (The Old Bailey Proceedings Online, 2005)

** Andrew Scull, Charlotte Mackenzie and Nicholas Hervey, Masters of Bedlam: The Transformation of the Mad-Doctoring Trade (Princeton University Press, 1996). (This has very useful biographies of individual psychiatrists and asylum keepers). e-book and multiple copies in library

** Shorter, A History of Psychiatry, esp. chs 1-2. e-book

** Akihito Suzuki, ‘Framing Psychiatric Subjectivity: Doctor, Patient and Record-Keeping at Bethlem in the Nineteenth Century’, in Insanity, Institutions and Society, pp. 115-36. e-book

** Laurence J. Ray, ‘Models of Madness in Victorian Asylum Practice’, Archives of European Sociology, 22 (1981), 229-64. e-journal

** Andrew Scull, Museums of Madness: The Social Organization of Insanity in 19thCentury England (London: Allen Lane, 1979).

** Andrew Scull, The Most Solitary of All Afflictions: Madness and Society in Britain, 1700-1900 (Yale University Press, 1993), ch. 5. Multiple copies in library

* Andrew Scull, Social Order/Mental Disorder: Anglo-American Psychiatry in Historical Perspective (London: Routledge, 1989). (Useful essays on doctors in psychiatry). e-book

* Vieda Skultans, Madness and Morals: Ideas on Insanity in the Nineteenth Century (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975) (an excellent resource on therapeutics and changing views on the causes of insanity).
** Trevor Turner, ‘”Not Worth Powder and Shot”: The Public Profile of the Medico-Psychological Association, c. 1851- 1914’, in 150 Years of British Psychiatry, pp. 3-16.
** Akihito Suzuki, Madness at Home: The Psychiatrist, the Patient, and the Family in England, 1820-1860 (California University Press, 2006). e-book
* Akihito Suzuki, ‘Enclosing and Disclosing Lunatics within the Family Walls: Domestic Psychiatric Regime and the Public Sphere in Early Nineteenth-Century England’, in Outside the Walls of the Asylum, pp. 115-31. e-book and several copies in library
* Faber Book of Madness, esp. chs 11 and 14. Multiple copies in library
Peter K. Carpenter, ‘Thomas Arnold: A Provincial Psychiatrist in Georgian England’, Medical History, 23 (1989), 199-216. e-journal
Andrew Scull, ‘A Victorian Alienist: John Conolly, FRCP, DCL (1794-1866)’, Anatomy of Madness I, pp. 103-51.
* Akihito Suzuki, ‘The Politics and Ideology of Non-Restraint: The Case of the Hanwell Asylum’, Medical History, 39 (1995), 1-17. e-journal
* Michael Neve and Trevor Turner, ‘What the Doctor Thought and Did: Sir James Crichton-Browne (1840-1938)’, Medical History, 39 (1995), 399-432. e-journal
Bellevue Hospital, New York (1885)
* Trevor Turner, ‘Henry Maudsley: Psychiatrist, Philosopher, and Entrepreneur’, Anatomy of Madness III, pp. 151-89.
L.D. Smith, ‘Behind Closed Doors: Lunatic Asylum Keepers, 1800-1860’, Social History of Medicine, 1 (1988), 301-27. e-journal
Jan Goldstein, Console and Classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 1987). e-book
Dora B. Weiner, ‘”Le geste de Pinel”: The History of a Psychiatric Myth’, in Micale and Porter, Discovering, pp. 232-47.
James Moran, ‘The Keepers of the Insane: The Role of Attendants at the Toronto Provincial Asylum, 1875-1905’, Histoire Sociale/Social History, 28 (nos. 55-6) (1995), 51-75. e-journal
** Roger Smith, ‘The Boundary Between Insanity and Criminal Responsibility in Nineteenth-Century England’, in Madhouses, Mad-Doctors, and Madmen, pp. 363-84. e-book and chapter scanned
** Joel Peter Eigen, ‘”I answer as a physician”: Opinion as Fact in Pre-McNaughtan Insanity Trials’, in Michael Clark and Catherine Crawford (eds), Legal Medicine in History (Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 167-99. e-book
** Roger Smith, Trial by Medicine: Insanity and Responsibility in Victorian Trials (Edinburgh University Press, 1981). e-book
* Joel Peter Eigen, Unconscious Crime: Mental Absence and Criminal Responsibility in Victorian London (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003). e-book
** Joel Peter Eigen, Witnessing Insanity: Madness and Mad-Doctors in the English Court (Yale University Press, 1995). e-book
* Hilary Marland, ‘Getting away with Murder? Puerperal Insanity, Infanticide and the Defence Plea’, in Mark Jackson (ed.), Infanticide: Historical Perspectives on Child Murder and Concealment, 1550-2000 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002), pp. 168-92. e-book
* Nigel Walker, Crime and Insanity in England, vols. 1 and 11 (Edinburgh University Press, 1968).
Ruth Harris, Murders and Madness: Medicine, Law, and Society in the fin de siècle (Oxford: Clarendon, 1989).
Daniel N. Robinson, Wild Beasts and Idle Humours: The Insanity Defence from Antiquity to the Present (Harvard University Press, 1996).
Vieda Skultans, Madness and Morals: Ideas on Insanity in the Nineteenth Century (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975), ch. 9 ‘Idiocy, Criminal Lunacy and Pauper Lunacy’, pp. 241-58.
Brenden D. Kelly, ‘Poverty, Crime and Mental Illness: Female Forensic Psychiatric Committal in Ireland, 1910-1948’, Social History of Medicine, 21 (2008), 311-28. e-journal
Mark Jackson, ‘”It Begins with the Goose and Ends with the Goose”: Medical, Legal, and Lay Understandings of Imbecility in Ingram v Wyatt, 1824-1832’, Social History of Medicine, 11 (1998), 361-80. e-journal
Janet A. Tighe, ‘The Legal Art of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Searching for Reliability’, in Charles E. Rosenberg and Janet Golden (eds), Framing Disease: Studies in Cultural History (Rutgers University Press, 1997), pp. 206-26. e-book
** Laurence J. Ray, ‘Models of Madness in Victorian Asylum Practice’, Archives of European Sociology, 22 (1981), 229-64. e-journal
* Vieda Skultans, Madness and Morals: Ideas on Insanity in the Nineteenth Century (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975).
Roy Porter, ‘Psychiatry and Its History: Hunter and Macalpine’, in Leonie de Goei and Joost Viselaar (eds), Proceedings: 1st European Congress on the History of Psychiatry and Mental Health Care (Rotterdam: Erasmus Publishing, 1993), pp. 167-77 (refer also to other essays in this volume).
* Gerald N. Grob, ‘Psychiatry’s Holy Grail: The Search for the Mechanisms of Mental Diseases’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 72 (1998), 189-219. e-journal
* William F. Bynum, ‘The Nervous Patient in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century England: The Psychiatric Origins of British Neurology’, in Anatomy of Madness 1, 89-102.
Ian Dowbiggin, ‘Back to the Future: Valentin Magnan, French Psychiatry, and the Classification of Mental Diseases, 1885- 1925’, Social History of Medicine, 9 (1996), 383-408. e-journal


** Stephen Watson, 'Malingerers, the ‘Weakminded’ Criminal and the ‘Moral Imbecile’: How the English Prison Medical Officer became an Expert in Mental Deficiency, 1880–1930', in Michael Clark and Catherine Crawford (eds), Legal Medicine in History (Cambridge University Press, 2004), 223-42. e-book


** Jade Shepherd, ‘“I am very glad and cheered when I hear the flute”: The Treatment of Criminal Lunatics in Late Victorian Broadmoor’, Medical History, 60 (2016), 473-91. e-journal


* Patricia H. Allderidge, ‘Criminal Insanity: Bethlem to Broadmoor’, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 67 (1974), 897-904. e-journal


* Joseph Melling, Bill Forsythe and Richard Adair, ‘Families, Communities and the Legal Regulation of Lunacy in Victorian England: Assessments of Crime, Violence and Welfare in Admissions to the Devon Asylum, 1845-1914’, in Outside the Walls of the Asylum, pp. 153-80. e-book and several copies in library 


Pauline M. Prior, ‘Mad, Not Bad: Crime, Mental Disorder and Gender in Nineteenth-Century Ireland’, History of Psychiatry, 8 (1997), 501-6. e-journal


Pauline M. Prior, ‘Prisoner or Patient? The Official Debate on the Criminal Lunatic in Nineteenth-Century Ireland’, History of Psychiatry, 15 (2004), 177-92. e-journal


Oonagh Walsh, ‘Lunatic and Criminal Alliances in Nineteenth-Century Ireland’, in Outside the Walls of the Asylum, pp. 132-52. e-book and several copies in library


Catherine Cox, Negotiating Insanity in the Southeast of Ireland, 1820-1900 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012), ch. 3. e-book


Mark Finnane, Insanity and the Insane in Post-Famine Ireland (London: Croom Helm, 1981), ch. 3. e-book


* Stephen Garton, 'Criminal Propensities: Psychiatry, Classification and Imprisonment in New York State 1916-1940, Social History of Medicine, 23 (2010), 79-97. e-journal


* Catherine Cox and Hilary Marland, 'Broken Minds and Beaten Bodies: Cultures of Harm and the Management of Mental Illness in Late Nineteenth Century English and Irish Prisons’, Social History of Medicine, 31 (2018), 688-710. e-journal


* Catherine Cox and Hilary Marland, ‘“He must die or go mad in this place”: Prisoners, Insanity and the Pentonville Model Prison Experiment, 1842-1852’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 92 (2018), 78-109. e-journal


Janet Saunders, ‘Magistrates and Madmen: Segregating the Criminally Insane in Late-Nineteenth-Century Warwickshire’, in Victor Bailey (ed.), Policing and Punishment in Nineteenth Century Britain (London: Croom Helm, 1981), 217-41.


Henry R. Rollin, ‘Forensic Psychiatry in England: A Retrospective’, in 150 Years of British Psychiatry II, pp. 243-67.