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Madness at HomeThe Psychiatrist, the Patient, and the Family in England, 1820-1860$
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Akihito Suzuki

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520245808

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520245808.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Managing Lunatics within the Domestic Sphere

Managing Lunatics within the Domestic Sphere

(p.91) Four Managing Lunatics within the Domestic Sphere
Madness at Home

Akihito Suzuki

University of California Press

This chapter moves away from dealing with medical practitioners to illuminate the family's own understanding of and ways of coping with the family member's lunacy. It aims to demonstrate the existence of “domestic psychiatry,” to examine its internal characteristics, and to investigate its social and cultural basis. The chapter first considers the letters of one London banker, in which his responses to the mental disease of his mother in 1816 were recorded in exceptional detail and with remarkable candidness. Then it contextualizes this evidence, mainly using records from commission of lunacy cases. The chapter also investigates the social and cultural background of domestic psychiatry, linking it to the development of the ideal of domesticity in England in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Here, it relies on recent works on the history of upper- and middle-class families in Britain by Leonore Davidoff, Catherine Hall, Amanda Vickery, and others. The chapter concludes by providing a revisionist assessment of the rise of moral treatment, the cornerstone of nineteenth-century psychiatry.

Keywords:   family, lunacy, family members, domestic psychiatry, moral treatment, Leonore Davidoff, Catherine Hall, Amanda Vickery

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