By Kenneth S. Jackson

This ebook seeks to replace the nonetheless average reference concerning London's infamous psychiatric health facility, Bethlem, and the Shakespearean degree - Robert Reed's Bedlam at the Jacobean level (1953) - by way of tough its assumption that Bethlem was once a home of horrors that confirmed its sufferers to viewers for leisure, a tradition supposedly then depicted at the degree to thrill "primitive" tastes. because the fresh background of Bethlem has instructed, the clinic used to be in the beginning a charity, person who confirmed its sufferers to elicit alms for the mad bad. Seeing the mad negative residing in squalor moved humans to offer; that a few spectators additionally laughed at this convey could complicate, yet doesn't contradict, Bethlem's charitable functionality. not like our well known knowing of charity, which usually includes the efforts of the givers to not less than masks any emotions of contempt for recipients, early glossy charitable impulses coexisted simply with a transparent disgust for and a- willingness to giggle on the recipients of charity.

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