Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum
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|Sat, 11-12-2011 - 6:46am|
by Mark Stevens
This was a very interesting read. The author profiled some of the more well-known patients of the day. He also included a brief history of the formation of the asylum and how it was run. There is also a lengthy chapter about those who escaped. Lots of documentation is included for anyone wanting to do their own research.
Focused on the Victorian period, the book tells the stories of some of the hospital’s best-known patients. There is Edward Oxford, who shot at Queen Victoria, and Richard Dadd, the brilliant artist and murderer of his father. There is also William Chester Minor, the surgeon from America who killed a stranger in London, and then played a key part in creating the world's finest dictionary. Finally, there is Christiana Edmunds, ‘The Chocolate Cream Poisoner’ and frustrated lover.
To these four tales are added new ones, previously unknown. There were five women who went on to become mothers in Broadmoor, giving birth to life when three of them had previously taken it. Then there were the numerous escapes, actual and attempted, as the first doctors tried to assert control over their residents.
These are stories from the edge of where true crime meets mental illness. Broadmoor Revealed recounts what life was like for the criminally insane, over one hundred years ago.