Educative psychological treatment at Edinburgh’s Royal Asylum: unfolding The Morningside Mirror, 1845-1882

Christopher Holligan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article examines moral therapy in relation to writing by fee paying ‘lunatic’ asylum patients from the upper and middle classes. Their work was published in a nineteenth-century monthly periodical, The Morningside Mirror. There is an intersection of the periodical with status and the interests of gentlemanly values. Despite their psychopathological diagnoses, which included melancholia, writers for the Mirror retained their human capacity to share poignant insights into love and social injustice. Edinburgh’s reputation as a cultural and scientific centre of learning provided opportunities for the asylum to market itself as an iconic sanctuary that could maintain the materially privileged lifestyles of patients. The Morningside Mirror offered creative activity, self-esteem maintenance and public recognition. It connected the Asylum to the society outside. The expression of logic as reflective of the repair of reason signalled, from the viewpoint of psychological medicine, the Mirror’s therapeutic impact, and utility to project reputation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalSocial History of Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024

Keywords

  • asylum
  • periodical
  • moral treatment
  • literature
  • science
  • class
  • insanity

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Educative psychological treatment at Edinburgh’s Royal Asylum: unfolding The Morningside Mirror, 1845-1882'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this