Adrian's Reviews > Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England

Inconvenient People by Sarah  Wise
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History of the Lunacy laws in Britain which held sway from the 1840s until 1890. The law allowed anyone with the opinion of two doctors to appeal for certification of insanity on a suspect relative. Doctors in this system were highly compromised by the money they were paid for interviews and also that many were owners of asylums. Wise covers this history through analysis of twelve cases. Many people charged with lunacy were antisocial, eccentric or in the way of some money-making scheme. It speaks well of the British public that when certification went to trial juries voted in favour of the beleaguered individual and against the medical profession. Several former inmates of asylums were important reformers of the system including John Percival (son of a prime minister) Louise Lowe and Georgina Weldon.
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Started Reading
May 1, 2013 – Finished Reading
May 6, 2013 – Shelved

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