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Cure, Comfort, and Safe Custody
Public Lunatic Asylums in Early Nineteenth Century England
Book News Explores the evolving tensions between the three objectives of the English mental asylum from 1808 to 1845: custody, cure, and comfort. Smith (arts and social sciences, U. of Birmingham, UK) finds that the implicit goal of custody, evidenced in penitentiary-style regimes, was gradually superseded by an Enlightenment-tempered movement towards cure. However, eventually the flaws in the system led to an overcrowding by ever larger numbers of physically deteriorated, aging people, and the emphasis switched to comfort. Distributed by Cassell & Continuum. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)