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BETHLEM HOSPITAL is the oldest mental institution in the world, to many famously known as ‘Bedlam’: a chaotic madhouse that brutalised its patients. Paul Chambers explores the 800-year history of Bethlem and reveals fascinating details of its ambivalent relationship with London and its inhabitants, the life and times of the hospital’s more famous patients, and the rise of a powerful reform movement to tackle the institution’s notorious policies. Here the whole story of Bethlem Hospital is laid bare to a new audience, charting its well-intended beginnings to its final disgrace and reform.
About the Author
Paul Chambers' writing credits include books on subjects as diverse as elephants, dinosaurs, the natural history of the giant tortoise, medieval genealogy and an 18th-century scandal. He has written for television and radio, and has produced numerous articles on a diverse range of subjects as well as being the ghostwriter behind several children's factual books.