Care and Treatment of the Mentally Ill in North Wales, 1800-2000

Pamela Michael

Care and Treatment of the Mentally Ill in North Wales, 1800-2000

Pamela Michael

Distributed for University of Wales Press

252 pages | 20 halftones | 7 9/10 x 5 3/5 | © 2003
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9780708317402 Published February 2003 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
Care and Treatment of the Mentally Ill in North Wales, 1800-2000 follows the rise and fall of a ’total institution’, the predominantly Welsh-language North Wales Hospital in Denbigh, from its origins as the North Wales Lunatic Asylum in 1848 to its closure in 1995.  It is a ground-breaking study of the history of insanity in north Wales over a period of two centuries.
Pamela Michael makes extensive use of patient case notes in order to discuss life in an asylum, to look at charging diagnostic and treatment patterns, and to explore the ways in which ordinay people understood and experienced metnal illness.  Through an examinatin of the ways in which disruptive behaviour has been contained, she also considers the social and cultural meanings of mental illness in Wales over the past two hundred years.
This is the first detailed hsitory of an asylum in Wales, as well as being an important contribution to the sociology of mental illness.  In its analysis of the interaction between events inside the asylum and changes in Welsh socity beyond its walls, Care and Treatment of the Mentally Ill in North Wales offers a significant new perspective on the cultural history of Wales.
List of Illustrations
Archival Sources
List of Abbreviations
One          The Insane Poor
Two          Investigating North Wales
Three        The Founding of the North Wales Lunatic Asylum
Four          Building the Asylum
Five           Operating the Asylum
Six             Inhabiting the Asylum
Seven        1874-1914
Eight          The First World War and its Aftermath
Nine          The Inter-War Years
Ten            Patients and Staff in the Inter-War Years
Eleven        The Second World War
Twelve       Welfare State Years - A New Dawn?
Thirteen      New Directions
Fourteen     The Final Years
Review Quotes
Contemporary British History

“Pamela Michael has produced a carefully and clearly written portrait of care and treatment for the mentally ill which is an important contribution, not only to the history of asylums and mental health, but to the growing literature on ‘welfare peripheries’ and the history of health and social care in Wales.’ –Contemporary British History

Bulletin of the History of Medicine

‘This book is well researched and pioneering, and it opens up many avenues for reconsidering the history of mental health in Wales and elsewhere.” –Bulletin of the History of Medicine

Medical History

“This scholarly and sensitive history of the Denbigh mental hospital in North Wales makes a valuable contribution to the history of psychiatry in its British context.” –Medical History

Daily Post

“ . . . it is eminently readable from start to finish – as well as being a valuable addition to Welsh history.” –Daily Post

Social History Society Bulletin
“ . . . Michael has produced a very well documented and non-doctrinaire account of the Denbigh Hospital and the larger society within which it was situated. In so doing, she has made a very useful contribution to the new ‘micro-history’ of the nineteenth and twentieth century asylum and psychiatric institution.” –Social History Society Bulletin
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