By Jonathan Andrews
This booklet is a full of life statement at the eighteenth-century mad-business, its practitioners, its sufferers (or "customers"), and its buyers, considered during the particular lens of the personal case e-book saved through the main well-known mad-doctor in Augustan England, Dr. John Monro (1715-1791). Monro's case ebook, comprising the doctor's jottings on sufferers he observed during his deepest practice--patients drawn from a good number of social strata--offers a rare window into the subterranean global of the mad-trade in eighteenth-century London.The quantity concludes with a whole version of the case e-book itself, transcribed in complete with editorial annotations through the authors. within the fragmented tales Monro's case publication presents, Andrews and Scull discover a poignant underworld of human mental misery, a few of it unusual and a few rather ordinary. They position those "cases" in a true global the place John Monro and othersuccessful medical professionals have been training, to not say inventing, the prognosis and therapy of insanity.
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Extra info for Customers and Patrons of the Mad-Trade: The Management of Lunacy in Eighteenth-Century London, With the Complete Text of John Monro's 1766 Case Book
Indeed, since Monro practiced in a period long before the keeping of medical records and case-taking or the compilation of statistics was seen as relevant to any sort of scientific or clinical understanding, one should scarcely expect him to have done otherwise. Even after 1815, when asylums in the public sector became almost universally accustomed (indeed, were statutorily required) to keep case notes, an approach similar to the one Monro made use of was evidently adopted. Every separate asylum admission tended to be accorded a different case number, and patients’ notes were recorded as continuous records, often across a series of volumes of chronologically maintained case books.
Godwin “received benefit from my father’s advice, many years ago”; Mr. qxd 32 8/12/2002 9:13 AM Page 32 Managing Lunacy gleaned from his father’s practice nicely illustrate the importance of nepotistic connections in medical careers in early modern Britain. The prevalence of endogamy was perhaps nowhere more marked than in the mad-doctoring trade, where we can point to multigenerational practitioners besides the Monro dynasty, such as the Mason-Cox family, associated with Fishponds Asylum and Cox’s swinging chair;13 the Fox family, who owned Brislington House throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth;14 the Willises, headed by the infamous “Dr.
It seems quite likely that Monro may have habitually written up the case book at the end of the day, and occasionally a little later. The brief notes Monro often added at the conclusion of an entry, in a smaller hand (once again rendered here in a reduced type), sometimes recorded after a few days and sometimes after a considerably longer time period, do nonetheless suggest a regularly maintained, if very sketchy, record. 13 This is a clear reflection of the mad-doctor’s preparedness to consistently follow up cases to their denouements, even if the content and brevity of these entries suggest his rather limited practical role in the ultimate outcome of many cases after an initial consultation and prescription had been provided.