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Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,529 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
Broadmoor Revealed gives the reader a glimpse behind the walls of England’s first Criminal Lunatic Asylum.

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 su
Nook, 118 pages
Published July 4th 2011 by Mark Stevens, via Smashwords
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(showing 1-30 of 2,859)
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Jun 13, 2012 Geevee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very well researched and accessible insight into Broadmoor written by Mark Stevens who is an archivist for the Berkshire Record Office

As Mr Stevens states it is not a full blown history but to use his words "...a tasting rather than a full bottle" that tells something of the Asylum/Hospital's past in terms of its foundation, the people who managed the patients and inmates and the incumbents themselves. The author says the book is a collection of
Jan 04, 2012 stormhawk rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I am fascinated by the history of mental health treatment, and was quite excited when this free-for-kindle book was recommended. Unfortunately, the book doesn't deliver on the promises of the title. Only a few patient's histories are covered, and very little is said about their time at Broadmoor beyond detailing some of their room furnishings and more extraordinary achievements, such as Dadd's fairy paintings.

I recognize that not a lot of documentation has survived, but surely a researcher coul
Michael Flanagan
Aug 02, 2013 Michael Flanagan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Broadmoor revealed is a fantastic journey in to the world of Lunatics Victorian style. The author has sifted through the records of the Broadmoor Asylum to bring us the story of some of its earliest residents. He also walks through the early history and development of the institution.

Broadmoor became the home to those held at her Majesties pleasure, those found not guilty of heinous crimes due to insanity. Also it was home to your more straight lace mad criminals. It is a great snapshot of an e
Sep 20, 2011 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! If you are interested in psychiatric history, the Victorian era, or true crime, this book is for you.

Archivist Mark Stevens works with the Berkshire Records Office and thus has access to the case histories of Broadmoor's inmates, its governors and more. This book is a sampling of case studies (including that of painter Richard Dadd, whose works hang in the Tate Gallery, and William Minor, a major contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary), births in the asylum and various escape attempts
Dec 14, 2015 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, victorian
The book was interesting, but never too interesting, and the only reason I read it so quickly was that it was short. The stories about the inmates were interesting, but they were very superficial. I wanted to hear more about treatment, their every day lives, how they were processes as "pleasure men" (those imprisoned at Her Majesty's Pleasure).The history of mental health can be fascinating, but this was very introductory and so I just dont think it was for me. Also the escapee chapter went on f ...more
Nicole Martin
Aug 27, 2011 Nicole Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book but what I enjoyed even more were the reactions I got when I told people what I was reading :P
Shari Larsen
This book tells the stories of a few patients who resided for a time at Broadmoor Hospital, in England, during the Victorian period; they were actually famous (or maybe infamous is a better word?) at the time. It also discusses what happened with some of the women who were pregnant at the time they were admitted, and gave birth in the hospital, and the escaped attempts made by some of the patients, some successful, some not.

Most of the patients there were sent there as a result of their criminal
A brief overview of the establishment and early history of the Broadmoor psychiatric hospital in Berkshire. Opened in the 1860s, it was a pioneer of treatment for the criminally insane and was among the first to viewed its inmates as patients rather than purely as prisoners.

The book looks at how Broadmoor was built and opened, gives profiles of the men who ran it in the early years and sketches portraits of some of the inmates, both well-known and (up till now) anonymous.

I found it an interestin
Jonjane Doe
This book’s purpose is to publicise the archives of Broadmoor (England’s first criminal insane asylum) and since statutes of limitations exist, the public stories come from Victorian times. It was initially released as a free download, made great inroads into various charts and was tweaked and rereleased (and price added) in 2013. I read the freebie, I only found all that out afterwards. No doubt it got a ton of rubbernecker readers, but it’s a steady and sensible read. We get a good look at per ...more
This author, Mark Stevens, has been reviewing records from England’s first Criminal Lunatic Asylum and this book is offering the reader a chance to see what was going on in this type of facility over a century ago. Although I felt like some of the details were a little dry, it was fascinating reading about the asylum population--why they were sent there, how they tried to escape, how some of the women had babies when they had already killed a child at home, and how the asylum changed over the ye ...more
Mental illness and the Victorians? Oh, yeah. Sue pointed out that it was free today, and I couldn't resist.
Jan 15, 2012 Krystal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not as interesting as it sounds. I didn't bother finishing it as it was a load of shite!
Alethea White-Previs
This was a fairly short overview of the Broadmoor Asylum in the Victorian period. It was the first state-sanctioned Asylum for insane criminals, those found not guilty by reason of their insanity. An archivist there provides short glimpses into the lives of various famous inmates of Broadmoor, their escapes, their crimes, and their lives inside. Interesting as a whole, but without any true depth to each story. The writer acknowledged this himself, intending to write a longer narrative in the fut ...more
Courtney Williams
Apr 04, 2015 Courtney Williams rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I picked this book up as a free Kindle download some time ago. Part of me feels like not paying for it means I shouldn't have expected much, so the fact there were positive aspects merits extra praise. The other part of me is a total meanie and much louder.

First, here's what I enjoyed about this book. It was certainly written in a sympathetic manner and not sensationalist at all. There were some interesting details and I appreciated his attempt to cover the stories of people that hadn't been hea
Jul 30, 2014 Carole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stevens has put together a very good introduction to Broadmoor Hospital in this book, pulling together an outline of the place itself, a few celebrated cases as well as several less well known ones.

The details provided are from the archives of the time and had me trying to ascertain modern diagnoses for the various patients mentioned, never mind the itching wish to go to the archives myself and dig through more data.

The famous cases mentioned are those of Edward Oxford, Richard Dadd, William Ch
Lynda Kelly
Dec 16, 2015 Lynda Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, favorites
Subtitled Victorian Crime and The Lunatic Asylum.........this is all about the criminal asylum Broadmoor from its opening in the 1800's. The guy who put it all together looks after their archives and has selected some interesting patients and criminals and related their stories.
It was very interesting. I never knew Broadmoor was originally a womens' only asylum for a start !! It's housed some of our most notorious murderers and nutcases over here. I'd have liked to have read about the ones I kno
Agustín Fest
Bajé este libro por lo que era: Un compendio de anécdotas acerca de un hospital para lunáticos en la época Victoriana y ya se sabe que la época Victoriana era una de las épocas más restrictivas en cuanto a sentimientos, deseos, caprichos espirituales o del cuerpo. La era Victoriana era como vivir el pueblo chico e infierno grande de un pueblito pero multiplicado por mil. Era de esperarse que la gente se volviera demente... Bueno, como dice el libro: lunáticos. Aunque a estas alturas el lunático ...more
C.C. Thomas
Jul 07, 2013 C.C. Thomas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I bought this book because it sounded so fascinating. A Victorian lunatic asylum? It must be full of amazing stories of crazy people, right? Yes, I bought it solely for the 'circus freak' aspect, which I know is wrong but so tempting. History is full of these fascinating stories and I hoped this was one more example.

Alas, this book is not that kind of history book. This one would be at home in a dusty museum or dry lecture hall. It just didn't come alive for me. I found it a labor to finish. It
Angela Buckley
May 24, 2013 Angela Buckley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Broadmoor Revealed is a gripping account of the Victorian inmates of Broadmoor, England’s first criminal lunatic asylum. The hospital opened its doors on 27 May 1863, to receive its first patients; all women convicted of crimes of theft, murder and infanticide. The chilling opening of the book sends a shiver down the spine inviting the reader to undertake a journey into the institution’s turbulent and haunting past.

Originally intended as a guide to the Broadmoor Hospital Archive, Mark Stevens’s
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
This is a brief overview into the history of Broadmoor and how it first opened, what its plans were and how they were made into achievements. It shows how Broadmoor was a "work in progress" for many years and also gives the reader an idea of the various ideas and input that the differing Medical Superintendents were able to implement, as well as the problems that they faced.

This book does not give you a massive amount of information on the patients named, presumably because there are different
I picked this up on a whim, it was free, which is always a good start, but promised an insight into the foundation and growth of Broadmoor.

It's based on the research of the institutes archivist, and to a certain extent it shows. It's very factual, but in dealing with the subject matter I was hoping for a little more warmth and narrative flow.

Having said that, it does convey the haphazard evolution of what is now an infamous facility. The stories of escapes which shaped it's development and restr
Amelia Chameleon
Oct 07, 2011 Amelia Chameleon rated it it was amazing
This was a free download for Kindle and was very interesting. It's a non-fiction account of the building and early years of Broadmoor and some insight to the patients there. This hospital was one of the first to start TREATING patients and didn't simply lock them away. This "humanitarian" approach called for a unique design, not only for the buildings and grounds but also for the staff. It was an interesting look at how the various directors of the asylum oversaw the institution and how they mad ...more
This is the first time that I have read anything on this subject and I found it rather interesting. I think it is a good starting point to get a person warmed up to the topic. It show cases a few of the patients/inmates of Broadmoor and a brief taster of what things were like for them. There is a section covering the escapes attempted and also a section about births within the asylum.

When one thinks of an ayslum it brings up images of seriously disturbed people held in chains and living in the m

Nicki McCann
May 21, 2016 Nicki McCann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative but brief

Quite an informative book but it's quite short. I appreciate that due to legal constraint only certain time periods can be covered, however, I would have liked more details on the staff who worked there, the treatments used, and more about the patients/convicts themselves.

The peek at Victorian life and justice in this book was really interesting. There were enough details about crimes and escapes that it really kept me going, and I normally don't like non-fiction. I liked this book.

I did not like that there was discontinuity. I didn't mind how some chapters were arranged to fully contain a high-profile individual's story, but it seemed that nearly every page or two we were jumping to another time period, even while telling a single person's story. This made it ha
Lisa Hall
Feb 14, 2013 Lisa Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This engaging page-turner offers a great deal to its readers. Those looking for details on Victorian criminals will find an interesting viewpoint in this book. Those looking for a review of compassionate care of the mentally ill would do well to begin with this book, and then wonder how we could have strayed so far. History buffs will find this volume an excellent "slice-of-life" resource.

What I found most interesting about Broadmoor Revealed are the stories I didn't expect to find. In fact, be
Oct 15, 2011 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
3.5 Stars. This non-fiction look at the infamous Broadmoor Asylum in England is quite well-written and engaging. Stevens examines a history of the institution as well as some of it's more infamous patients. While the latter half of the book does bog down a bit in all the escape attempts made throughout the years, overall this book is worth your time if you've ever had an interest in the Victorian way of dealing with "lunatics." Stevens is sympathetic and respectful of both patients and administr ...more
May 14, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
c2011: As mentioned in the preface, this little book only covers a small fraction of the stories available from the archives. The book was issued to see if there was interest for a larger work. I think there should be quite a bit of interest. The writing was utilitarian but had some lovely phrases; I especially liked the "kept busy with her sewing and suspicions" or words to that effect. It all gives a little snapshot on the Victorian mentality. I did find it interesting and would recommend for ...more
Jan 21, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biog-autobiog, crime
A shortish free e book from Amazon which I understand the author has written in a wish to gauge whether there is interest in a more fullsome book being written on the early days and inmates of this institution.
The stories within look at the early days of Broadmoor,moderately famous inmates,early escapees and births within the walls as well as giving an interesting insight into the treatment of inmates and the remit of the early asylums.
I enjoyed this book and look forward to a longer edition wit
Dec 11, 2011 Elle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I really enjoyed this very interesting book.

I have wanted to read this for a while and it only came to the top of the pile (like so many other books) this week. I knew from the start I would like it as I was completely hooked within pages.

It gives a really interesting view of life back in Broadmoor and wasn't nearly as horrific as I thought it was going to be. It actually really surprised me at how humanely these people where treated.

It would of easily got 5 stars if it wasn't for the amount of
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Mark Stevens is an award-winning commercial writer, author and blogger (

His work has appeared on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines, online, on billboards and bookshelves.

His first e-book SHORTSTUFF 1 is a collection of 8 tall stories done short, that are equal parts silly, weird, absurd, funny and far fetched.

He lives with his wife and 3 children in a
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