Investigating the Body in the Victorian Asylum

Inside this Book

If you make use of this material, you may credit the authors as follows:

Wallis Jennifer, "Investigating the Body in the Victorian Asylum", Springer Nature, 2017, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-56714-3, License:

This book explores how the body was investigated in the late nineteenth-century asylum in Britain. As more and more Victorian asylum doctors looked to the bodily fabric to reveal the ‘truth’ of mental disease, a whole host of techniques and technologies were brought to bear upon the patient's body. These practices encompassed the clinical and the pathological, from testing the patient's reflexes to dissecting the brain. Investigating the Body in the Victorian Asylum takes a unique approach to the topic, conducting a chapter-by-chapter dissection of the body. It considers how asylum doctors viewed and investigated the skin, muscles, bones, brain, and bodily fluids. The book demonstrates the importance of the body in nineteenth-century psychiatry as well as how the asylum functioned as a site of research, and will be of value to historians of psychiatry, the body, and scientific practice.


Asylum, Victorian Asylum, Britain, Nineteenth Century, Autopsy, Mental Disorder, Paralysis, Psychiatric Hospital, West Riding Of Yorkshire

Rights | License

Except where otherwise noted, this item has been published under the following license:

Takedown policy

If you believe that this publication infringes copyright, please contact us at and provide relevant details so that we can investigate your claim.