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Elimination

Peter Barham: Henry Cotton

18 August 2005
Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine 
by Andrew Scull.
Yale, 360 pp., £18.95, May 2005, 0 300 10729 3
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... ill and to modernise the discipline of psychiatry, just as surgery had been brought up to date. Andrew Scull’s splendid new book, entertaining and disturbing in equal measure, is an account of the career of Henry Aloysius Cotton, an ebullient, ambitious American psychiatrist who met this challenge. Scull, whose ...

Brute Nature

Rosemary Dinnage

6 March 1997
Masters of Bedlam: The Transformation of the Mad-Doctoring Trade 
by Andrew Scull, Charlotte Mackenzie and Nicholas Hervey.
Princeton, 363 pp., £23, February 1997, 0 691 03411 7
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... at something he finds hard to bear. The brief biographies of 19th-century alienists through which Andrew Scull, Charlotte MacKenzie and Nicholas Hervey tell the story of the century’s dealings with the mad make it clear that Morison’s haunted expression could have been that of any of the seven ‘mad-doctors’ described here. The first of them was ...

Dazeland

Andrew Scull

29 October 1987
The Female Malady: Women, Madness and English Culture 1830-1980 
by Elaine Showalter.
Virago, 309 pp., £6.95, May 1987, 0 86068 869 0
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... Most recent work on the history of psychiatry has tended to focus on the history of institutions, of ideas, and of the psychiatric profession itself, and to ignore those for whom this vast infrastructure has (at least ostensibly) been erected. It is a historiography, as David Ingleby wittily put it, ‘like the histories of colonial wars’: it tells ‘us more about the relations between the imperial powers than about the “third world” of the mental patients themselves ...

Keepers

Andrew Scull

29 September 1988
Mind Forg’d Manacles: A History of Madness in England from the Restoration to the Regency 
by Roy Porter.
Athlone, 412 pp., £25, August 1987, 0 485 11324 4
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The Past and the Present Revisited 
by Lawrence Stone.
Routledge, 440 pp., £19.95, October 1987, 0 7102 1253 4
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Sufferers and Healers: The Experience of Illness in 17th-Century England 
by Lucinda McCray Beier.
Routledge, 314 pp., £30, December 1987, 0 7102 1053 1
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Illness and Self in Society 
by Claudine Herzlich and Janine Pierret, translated by Elborg Forster.
Johns Hopkins, 271 pp., £20.25, January 1988, 0 8018 3228 4
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Medicine and Society in Wakefield and Huddersfield 1780-1870 
by Hilary Marland.
Cambridge, 503 pp., £40, September 1987, 0 521 32575 7
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A Social History of Madness: Stories of the Insane 
by Roy Porter.
Weidenfeld, 261 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 297 79223 7
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... For nearly two centuries now, the treatment of the mad in Georgian England has been almost uniformly portrayed in the darkest hues. Nineteenth-century lunacy reformers pictured the preceding age as mired in ignorance and cruelty, conjuring up indelible images of monstrous madhouse-keepers beating their patients into submission, chaining them up like wild beasts in foul holding-pens filled with shit, straw and stench; of the callous, jeering crowd – urban sophisticates and country bumpkins alike – thronging to Bedlam in their thousands to view the splendid entertainment offered by the spectacle of the raging and raving mad ...

Mad or bad?

Michael Ignatieff

18 June 1981
Trial by Medicine: Insanity and Responsibility in Victorian Trials 
by Roger Smith.
Edinburgh, 288 pp., £15, March 1981, 9780852244074
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... attempt at hegemony over treatment and the public discourse has already been charted by Andrew Scull, Michel Foucault and David Rothman. Roger Smith’s contribution is to show that the legal conceptions of mens rea and free will provided the basis for resisting medical claims to hegemoney, not only within the courtroom, but in ‘public ...
3 April 1986
The Anatomy of Madness: Essays in the History of Psychiatry Vol. I: People and Ideas, Vol. II: Institutions and Society 
edited by W.F. Bynum, Roy Porter and Michael Shepherd.
Tavistock, 316 pp., £19.95, November 1985, 0 422 79430 9
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Madness, Morality and Medicine: A Study of the York Retreat 1796-1914 
by Anne Digby.
Cambridge, 323 pp., £27.50, October 1985, 0 521 26067 1
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... of Foucault, Erving Goffman, Thomas Szasz and R.D. Laing, and more recently the contributions of Andrew Scull and a new generation of historians, have made it impossible to accept the Whig view of psychiatry’s history. Yet, if these writers have managed to convince historians that work in the subject must take account both of the wider social and ...
2 October 1997
... were already afoot. Who could turn down a gig at the end of the Reich? (He hadn’t considered the scull-splitting KLF class war anthem, ‘Fuck the Millennium.’) Perhaps dizzied by the fumes from the Blackwall Tunnel ventilation shaft, I began to see what he meant. This was an alternate universe, virtual reality. The place as it stood before me, as it ...

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