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Visiting Bethlem in the Long Eighteenth Century

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Founded in 1247, Bethlem Royal Hospital is one of the oldest institutions designed for treating mental illness. Today, the Bethlem Museum of the Mind is dedicated to preserving information and material related to how mental illness has been perceived and treated throughout British history. The museum offers this interactive timeline that outlines the history of Bethlem Hospital between 1676 and 1815. Visitors can explore this timeline by six categories: the hospital, attitudes to mental health, visitors, staff, patients, and outside events. Once visitors select a category, they will find a variety of primary documents along with short videos in which scholars answer frequently asked questions about the institution's history. Materials featured in this timeline include a passage of writing by Nathaniel Lee, a dramatist that spent time at Bethlem; William Hogarth's 1733 painting A Rake's Progress; and the 1815 testimony of a Bethlem physician before the House of Commons Committee on Madhouses.
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GEM Subject
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Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2018-01-26
Archived Scout Publication URL https://scout.wisc.edu/report/2018/0126

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