June 10, 2020

Ep.11 - Allan Beveridge - Voices Of The Mad: Patients’ Letters From The Royal Edinburgh Asylum

Drawing on over a thousand patient letters, this examines the lives of inmates at the Royal Edinburgh Asylum when the renowned psychiatrist Thomas Clouston was Superintendent.


The Royal Edinburgh Asylum is fortunate in having a very rich archive of its history, including an extensive collection of patient accounts of their mental struggles and experiences of the institution.

This talk focuses on the period when the renowned psychiatrist Thomas Clouston was Superintendent.

Drawing on over a thousand patient letters, it examines the lives of inmates: their feelings of being unjustly confined, and the tedium of institutional life, but also the relationships which were struck up with fellow-patients and staff.

The talk looks at patients’ descriptions of their mental worlds: of being tormented by voices, plagued by electricity and X-Ray machines, condemned to execution, and coming into untold wealth.

Speaker: Dr Allan Beveridge (Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline)


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