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Museum of the Mind

Presumed Curable

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Presumed Curable by Colin Gale and Robert Howard

An illustrated casebook of Victorian psychiatric patients in Bethlem Hospital.

Presumed Curable is a window into the historic archive of Bethlem Royal Hospital, and more than that, it is a window into the lives and experiences of ordinary men and women suffering mental distress in the late Victorian era.

Thousands of unique human stories lie within the historic records of Bethlem Hospital, a London institution dedicated to the treatment – and cure – of mental illness since medieval times.

Around sixty of these stories are told in this book, accompanied by beautiful, moving photographs taken over the course of a decade near the end of the Victorian era. They speak eloquently of experiences of distress and recovery, of life within and outside hospital walls, and of contemporary attitudes and therapeutic approaches.

These voices deserve to be heard.

Watch Presumed Curable being discussed in five short videos.

Paperback, Wrightson Biomedical Publishing, 2003
128 pages, 180x235mm
ISBN: 9789492811158