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Patients’ relatives and psychiatric doctors : letter writing in the York Retreat 1875-1910

Wannell, Louise (2007) Patients’ relatives and psychiatric doctors : letter writing in the York Retreat 1875-1910. Social History of Medicine. pp. 297-313. ISSN 0951-631X

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Abstract

This article investigates the practice of letter writing from family and friends of patients to doctors at the York Retreat asylum at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. During this time, letter writing was an important part of asylum practice and a collection of incoming and outgoing letters remain in the Retreat archive. Using mainly incoming correspondence, this article will show how families and friends remained significantly involved in asylum life and patient care. It will investigate the practice of family letter writing, asking questions such as who wrote to the Retreat, how often and why. It will also look at what types of relationships families and friends constructed with doctors, proposing that they regarded them in a variety of ways, ranging from seeing them as employees to treating them as confidants.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2007 the author. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Social History of Medicine. This work is embargoed until July 2009 in accordance with OUP's policy.
Keywords: psychiatry, York Retreat, letters, patients' families, employees, confidants, professional mediatorsRoyal-Edinburgh-Asylum, Family strategies, Medical-care, Prize essay, New-Zealand, Insane, 18th-Century, Confinement, England, Madness
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Depositing User: Ms Diana Hilmer
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2007 18:50
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2013 14:14
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/shm/hkm043
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3512

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