Undertaker of the Mind: John Monro and Mad-doctoring in Eighteenth-century England

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University of California Press, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 364 pages
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As visiting physician to Bethlem Hospital, the archetypal "Bedlam" and Britain's first and (for hundreds of years) only public institution for the insane, Dr. John Monro (1715–1791) was a celebrity in his own day. Jonathan Andrews and Andrew Scull call him a "connoisseur of insanity, this high priest of the trade in lunacy." Although the basics of his life and career are well known, this study is the first to explore in depth Monro's colorful and contentious milieu. Mad-doctoring grew into a recognized, if not entirely respectable, profession during the eighteenth century, and besides being affiliated with public hospitals, Monro and other mad-doctors became entrepreneurs and owners of private madhouses and were consulted by the rich and famous.

Monro's close social connections with members of the aristocracy and gentry, as well as with medical professionals, politicians, and divines, guaranteed him a significant place in the social, political, cultural, and intellectual worlds of his time. Andrews and Scull draw on an astonishing array of visual materials and verbal sources that include the diaries, family papers, and correspondence of some of England's wealthiest and best-connected citizens. The book is also distinctive in the coverage it affords to individual case histories of Monro's patients, including such prominent contemporary figures as the Earls Ferrers and Orford, the religious "enthusiast" Alexander Cruden, and the "mad" King George III, as well as his crazy would-be assassin, Margaret Nicholson.

What the authors make clear is that Monro, a serious physician neither reactionary nor enlightened in his methods, was the outright epitome of the mad-trade as it existed then, esteemed in some quarters and ridiculed in others. The fifty illustrations, expertly annotated and integrated with the text, will be a revelation to many readers.
  

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Undertaker of the mind: John Monro and mad-doctoring in eighteenth-century England

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John Monro was the eminent 18th-century visiting physician responsible for the Bethlem Hospital, the first public institution for the insane in England. Andrews (Oxford Brookes Univ.; They're in ... Read full review

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Contents

John Monro The Making of a MadDoctor
1
FORGING THE EARLY CAREER
3
JOHN MONRO AT BETHLEM AND BRIDEWELL
13
MONRO AND THE GREAT BEDLAM EXHIBITION
20
HOW TO TREAT A BEDLAMITE
28
The Real Use of Discussing Madness The Great Lunacy Debate
43
JOHN MONRO WILLIAM BATTIE AND ST LUKES HOSPITAL FOR LUNATICS
45
A VERY PUBLIC QUARREL
52
LUNACY AND THE MONEYED CLASSES
119
THE MADNESS OF A WHIG GRANDEE
123
HOW TO TREAT A LORD
131
LORD ORFORD RECOVERS HIS WITS AND LOSES THEM AGAIN
139
Mansions of Misery MadDoctors and the MadTrade
143
THE WIDER MARKET FOR THE MADBUSINESS
145
JOHN MONRO AND THE PRIVATE MADBUSINESS
160
FOR THE BEST AND THE WORST PURPOSES? MONRO MADHOUSES AND FALSE CONFINEMENT
170

JUDGING A DEBATE
59
A CAUTIOUS RAPPROCHEMENT
70
Madness in Their Methodism Religious Enthusiasm the MadDoctors and the Case of Alexander Cruden
73
THE MONROS AND METHODICAL MADNESS
75
ALEXANDER THE CORRECTOR AND THE MONROS
93
THE MADMAN AND HIS MADDOCTORS
107
CRUDENS FINAL CALL FROM GOD
111
A LAST JUDGMENT OF CRUDENS CASE
112
Mad as a Lord Monro and the Case of the Earl of Orford
117
MONRO BECOMES PART OF THE BUSINESS
179
Murder Most Foul Madness Most High The Courtroom the Stateroom and the Misty Summits of the MadDoctors Expertise
191
THE FEROCIOUS EARL FERRERS
193
AND STATE COMMITTALS TO BETHLEM
215
THE ROYAL MALADY AND THE END OF MONROS CAREER
254
Notes
265
Select Bibliography
345
Index
357
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Jonathan Andrews is Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities, Oxford Brookes University. His publications include The History of Bethlem (1997) and "They're in the Trade of Lunacy" (1998). Andrew Scull, author of Social Order/Mental Disorder (California, 1989; 1992) and The Most Solitary of Afflictions (1993), among other books, is Professor of Sociology and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

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