A Space of Their Own: The Archaeology of Nineteenth Century by Susan Piddock

By Susan Piddock

The heritage of lunatic asylums – what can we rather learn about them? movies and tv courses have portrayed them as locations of horror the place the sufferers are restricted and left to hear the cries in their fellow inmates in melancholy. yet what was once the area of 19th century lunatic asylums quite like? Are those photographs precise? This booklet will discover this global utilizing the innovations of ancient archaeology and historical past.

In the past due eighteenth and early 19th centuries the arrival of latest remedies for madness in response to ethical remedy and non-restraint, and an expanding social wisdom of the stipulations within which the insane have been being saved resulted in a brand new specialize in the provisions made for the insane in “madhouses”, lunatic asylums and hospitals. in keeping with this new concentration these drawn to the reform of those areas and the recent remedy regimes started to describe what lunatic asylums could be in the event that they have been going to convey the insane again to sanity. during this e-book a brand new technique is built utilizing those descriptions because the foundation of a sequence of ‘ideal’ asylum types. A comparability of those ‘ideal’ asylums to the lunatic asylums in-built England, South Australia and Tasmania permits us to go into the area of the 19th century asylum, and to appreciate the results of attaining or failing to accomplish the ‘ideal’ asylum on lifestyles inside those places.

Through the case reviews of britain, South Australia, and Tasmania, this e-book seeks to spot the forces at paintings inside of every one society that resulted in the actual provisions being made for the insane in every one position. it is going to be argued that the adoption of the ‘ideal’ asylum positive factors may be without delay concerning a few key elements, those have been: entry to a pool of information approximately lunatic asylum layout; financial constraints; the therapy mode followed; and social perceptions of who was once to be accommodated within the asylum - paupers, the center classification, the better type, or convicts.

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Extra resources for A Space of Their Own: The Archaeology of Nineteenth Century Lunatic Asylums in Britain, South Australia and Tasmania

Sample text

He argued that self-government would lead to self-control and, ultimately, to a cure. But what was restraint to be replaced by? For the reformers of the non-restraint movement the answer lay in providing an appropriate environment in which an insane person might be cured, or if not, then at least cared for humanely for the rest of their natural life. In 1838 Robert Gardiner Hill described what he considered to be four essential requisites of the new system of management: 1. A suitable building must be provided, in an airy and open situation, with ground sufficient for several court-yards, gardens, and pleasure-grounds, commanding (if possible) a pleasing and extensive prospect.

My research on the Destitute Asylum revealed that the rooms and spaces provided within the asylum compound were determined by a range of factors; the most important being the role of the institution and the nature of the people to be housed there. The Adelaide Destitute Asylum had been based on the English workhouse in its allocation of spaces and rooms, and followed similar principles of work and the separation of family members along gender lines (Piddock 1996 and 2001). Using this work, and the lunatic asylum plans as a basis, a set of initial questions were developed: 1) Was there a common design for lunatic asylums?

Every arrangement, beyond those for the regulation of the animal functions, from the situation, the architecture and furniture of the buildings intended for the insane, to the direct appeals made to the affections by means of kindness, discipline, and social intercourse, ought to be embraced by an effective system of moral treatment. (Browne 1837: 156). Above all, the insane within the asylum should be treated as individuals, with treatment regimes responding to their condition and patterns of behavior.

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