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    Single rooms, seclusion and the non-restraint movement in Britain, 1838-1844

    Topp, Leslie (2018) Single rooms, seclusion and the non-restraint movement in Britain, 1838-1844. Social History of Medicine 31 (4), pp. 754-773. ISSN 0951-631X.

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    This article shows how the practice of seclusion – the confinement of asylum patients in locked rooms alone – entered the spotlight during the bitter controversy over the abolition of mechanical restraints in the late 1830s and early 1840s. Drawing on letters to The Lancet, as well as on asylum reports, reports of the Commissioners in Lunacy and polemical pamphlets, and focusing on the two asylums at the centre of the controversy, Lincoln and Hanwell, I set out the range of positions taken, from pro-restraint and anti-seclusion to anti-restraint and pro-seclusion. I show how seclusion was associated with a lack of transparency, how it was seen as parallel to the disputed practice of solitary confinement in the prison system, and how both the practice of seclusion and the single room itself were modified in the face of these challenges. John Conolly emerges as the most committed proponent of seclusion.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication following peer review. The version of record is available online at the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): lunatic asylums, seclusion, non-restraint movement, Lincoln Asylum, Hanwell Asylum, John Conolly, Robert Gardiner Hill
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Architecture, Space and Society, Centre for
    Depositing User: Leslie Topp
    Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2018 11:45
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:38


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