Incarceration: Voices of the ‘insane’ in nineteenth century Britain


This lecture will focus on nineteenth century asylum records and aims to show that patients deemed to be insane continued to have a voice despite being locked away from the rest of society.
Medical case notes are a valuable primary source much underused by researchers. Patients requiring medical intervention shared thoughts and feelings about their conditions with doctors and staff attending them and often disclosed private information about family relationships. Patient testimonies and their correspondence with the outside world are a unique way of discovering more about individuals and families.