Today we alight in Devonshire, England. The beaches in this gorgeous, southwestern coastal county have long been a major summer tourist destination. In this episode, we’ll learn about how Devon’s seaside resorts transformed from health spas into centers of epidemic disease. We’ll also discover just what kinds of behaviors could land you in the insane asylums of Victorian Devonshire.
This episode is the second in our periodic “On Location” series. (Click here for the first episode in this series, on Berlin.)
For further reading:
- S. Baring-Gould, Devonshire Characters and Strange Events (John Lane, 1908).
- Bridget Franklin, “Hospital – Heritage – Home: Reconstructing the Nineteenth Century Lunatic Asylum,” Housing, Theory, and Society 19 (2002): 170-184.
- Philip Henry Gosse, A Handbook to the Marine Aquarium; containing Practical Instructions for Constructing, Stocking, and Maintaining a Tank, and for Collecting Plants and Animals (John Van Voorst, 1855).
- W. G. Hoskins, Devon and Its People (Augustus M. Kelley, 1968).
- Joseph Melling, Richard Adair, and Bill Forsythe, “‘A Proper Lunatic for Two Years’: Pauper Lunatic Children in Victorian and Edwardian England; Child Admissions to the Devon County Asylum, 1845-1914,” Journal of Social History 31 (1997): 371-405.
- David Pearce, “Family, Gender and Class in Psychiatric Patient Care during the 1930s: The 1930 Mental Treatment Act and the Devon Mental Hospital,” in Mental Illness and Learning Disability since 1850, ed. Pamela Dale and Joseph Melling (Routledge, 2006).
- Roy Porter, Madness: A Brief History (Oxford UP, 2002).
- Martin J. S. Rudwick, The Great Devonian Controversy: The Shaping of Scientific Knowledge among Gentlemanly Specialists (University of Chicago Press, 1988).
- Andrew T. Scull, Charlotte MacKenzie, and Nicholas Hervey, Masters of Bedlam: The Transformation of the Mad-Doctoring Trade (Princeton UP, 1996).
- Ann Thwaite, Glimpses of the Wonderful: The Life of Philip Henry Gosse, 1810-1888 (Faber & Faber, 2002).
- John Travis, The Rise of Devon Seaside Resorts, 1750-1900 (University of Exeter Press, 1993).
On the shelf:
- T. H. Barrett, The Woman Who Discovered Printing (Yale University Press, 2008).
- I can recommend very highly the B&B where we stayed in Devon: The Old Rectory in Diptford. Gorgeous. Delicious. Friendly. Give their dog, Danny, a pat from me.
All music on this program courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network, except where noted.
- Sunburn in Cyprus, History (intro & outro)
- Happy Gemini 3, Pondering the 10th Planet (transitions)
- other music on this episode:
- sound clip from Rebecca recorded from this YouTube video clip
- sound effects courtesy of the FreeSound Project: