Broadmoor Revealed : Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum, Hardback

Broadmoor Revealed : Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum Hardback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


'Glimpse what went on behind the walls of England's first Criminal Lunatic Asylum! Mark Stevens reveals what life was like for the criminally insane, over one hundred years ago.

From fresh research into the Broadmoor archives, Mark has uncovered the lost lives of patients whose mental illnesses led them to become involved in crime.

Discover the five women who went on to become mothers in Broadmoor, giving birth to new life when three of them had previously taken it.

Find out how several Victorian immigrants ended their hopeful journeys to England in madness and disaster. And follow the nail-biting numerous escapes, actual and attempted, as the first doctors tried to assert control over the residents. As well as bringing the lives of forgotten inmates to light, this thrilling book reveals new perspectives on some of the hospital's most famous Victorian patients: Edward Oxford, the bar boy who shot at Queen Victoria.

Richard Dadd, the brilliant artist and murderer of his own father.

William Chester Minor, veteran of the American Civil War who went on to play a key part in the first Oxford English Dictionary. Christiana Edmunds, 'The Chocolate Cream Poisoner' and frustrated lover from Brighton. Broadmoor Revealed became the most popular history e-book of 2011, and now this new expanded and revised edition celebrates the Hospital's 150th anniversary.'


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 192 pages, 15-20 B&W Illustrations
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: True crime
  • ISBN: 9781781593202



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Stevens is an archivist, and this very competent 'brief history' of Broadmoor is really an archivist's book. He has trawled out some genuinely interesting stories, and given them context in a very concise narrative history of the UK's premier institute for the criminally insane. It's the sort of book you'd select if you were going to go on a tour there, except there are no tours because it still operates as a high security 'hospital'. If you knew nothing about it you'd know more about it after reading this book, but you wouldn't really know much about the debate between disease and criminality that has been going on since Broadmoor was established in 1863. You'd also miss out on a potentially interesting discussions about how this category of patient has been dealt with in other countries, and about the problems of managing and staffing such institutions. For that sort of information you have to go to the texts referred to in Stevens excellent bibliography, and it's a measure of the success of his book that I am actually inspired to do so. Short(ish) and sweetly done, with some fine photographs, I'd recommend this as an introduction to the subject, and an attractive addition to any collection of books on penology and/or mental health institutions.