Speaker: Sarah Wise, Independent Scholar

The 1800s saw a series of scandals concerning individuals being locked away in lunatic asylums – the victims of unscrupulous persons who wanted to be rid of a ‘difficult’ family member, spouse or friend. But who were the victims of this trade? And to what extent was it carried on? Why was it a problem for the wealthy and less so for the poor? Was a male head of household simply able to ‘put away’ an unwanted wife or disobedient daughter? Sarah Wise examines a number of disputed lunacy cases, ranging from the 1820s to the 1890s - including the unsavoury incident that Sir Alexander Morison himself became embroiled in.

This talk is part of a series of events on the history of mental health which accompanies our free public exhibition 'Moonstruck: 500 years of mental health'.