Broadmoor Revealed (Paperback)
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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.
Each chapter is jam packed with information taken from the archives, building up a picture of Broadmoor as an institution, the patients that resided inside and events that led them to its door. It is presented in a concise and entertaining way ... Stevens takes the reader on a journey that will challenge any pre-conceptions on the Victorian Asylum, lunatics and even Broadmoor itself.Historical Honey
A compelling and fascinating book and a useful addition to our understanding of mental illness.The Local Historian
It challenges preconceptions about mental illness and public reaction to shocking crimes.Bracknell Forest Standard
Sensitively written…paints a fascinating pictureWho Do You Think You Are?
Detailed and thoughtful.Times Literary Supplement
Still known today as one of the country's three high-security psychiatric hospitals, it has a colourful history, which has been assiduously brought to light by Mark Stevens of Berkshire Record Office. A fascinating insight into the country's most famous asylum for criminalsYour Family Tree
It challenges preconceptions about mental illness and public reaction to shocking crimes. This new version published by Pen and Sword in hardback and ebook form tells some new stories and others in depth.Get Reading
Broadmoor Revealed will find ready audiences. It's likely to be the popular read. Mark Stevens skilfully uses his access to Broadmoor's records and is especially good at describing the experiences of the female patients.The Howard Journal
Our top choice. Superb updated and expanded version, packed with stories of some of the colourful characters who graced Broadmoor's wards in the 19th century. Told with a witty turn-of-phrase, Stevens' entertaining style lifts these fascinating characters off the page. You'd be mad not to read it.Family Tree
Broadmoor, Britain’s first hospital for the criminally insane, was founded 150 years ago this month. Historian Mark Stevens has spent 10 years researching the place for Broadmoor Revealed..Sunday People, May 19 2013
He says: ‘Victorian doctors were surprisingly compassionate. They provided good food, healthy occupations, hobbies and uplifting surroundings. And it did work because some patients ended up well enough to go back to their families.”
7th January 1886
Victorian artist Richard Dadd died in Broadmoor Hospital on 7 January 1886.
“The trial which terminated yesterday…revealed one of the strangest and most horrible stories possibly ever told in a court of justice.” (Morning Post). When the news broke in 1871 of a series of mysterious poisonings in Brighton, shock and horror gripped the Victorian public. Even more disturbing was the revelation that the culprit was not a common criminal but rather a local 'lady of fortune' called Christiana Edmunds. From March 1871 Christiana had sent out dozens of poisoned chocolates and sweets to Brighton’s residents. Her campaign resulted in the death of four-year-old holidaymaker…By Kaye Jones
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