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Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum
gives the reader a glimpse behind the walls of England’s first Criminal Lunatic Asylum.

Focused on the Victorian period, the book tells the stories of some of the hospital’s best-known patients. There is Edward Oxford, who shot at Queen Victoria, and Richard Dadd, the brilliant artist and murderer of his father. There is also William Chester Minor, the surgeon from America who killed a stranger in London, and then played a key part in creating the world's finest dictionary. Finally, there is Christiana Edmunds, ‘The Chocolate Cream Poisoner’ and frustrated lover.

To these four tales are added new ones, previously unknown. There were five women who went on to become mothers in Broadmoor, giving birth to life when three of them had previously taken it. Then there were the numerous escapes, actual and attempted, as the first doctors tried to assert control over their residents.

These are stories from the edge of where true crime meets mental illness. Broadmoor Revealed recounts what life was like for the criminally insane, over one hundred years ago.

Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum (History)
Mark Stevens (Author)
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Reviews from Amazon:

Mark Stevens delivers a relatively well-written and researched exploration of life in Broadmoor in late-Victorian England. This book offers an insight into daily life inside the asylum and of the patients, inmates, and professionals for whom Broadmoor became such an important part of their lives.

Common perceptions of the asylum system are often influenced by narrow and prescriptive interpretations of 'lunacy' and its 'treatments' during this period, and this text offers a more objective interpretation of events, whilst at the same time giving some 'flesh' to the personalities at work. The book is written in a sympathetic manner, devoid of sensationalism and overt subjectivity. 

There are some minor typos, and I did feel that the chapter on escape attempts was overlong; I would have preferred further insight into routines and institutional hierarchies, and perhaps further examination of some more of Broadmoor's inmates. 

However, this was an informative piece of good research, which was accessible and educational.

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