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Psychiatry’s ‘Others’? Rethinking the Professional Self-Fashioning of British Mental Nurses c. 1900–20

  • Mark Neuendorf (a1)


Despite facing manifold social and educational barriers, British asylum nurses across the long nineteenth century articulated distinctive professional identities as a means of leveraging their position in the medical hierarchy. This article draws upon a corpus of previously unattributed contributions to the Asylum News (1897–1919) – one of the first journals produced for the edification of asylum workers – to illustrate the diversity of medical personae developed and disseminated by these employees in the Edwardian era. Through scientific and creative works, nurses engaged with the pressing social and medical debates of the day, in the process exposing a heterogeneous intellectual culture. Moreover, as their writings attest, for some ambitious nurses these pretensions to intellectual authority prompted claims for medical autonomy, driving agitation on the hospital wards. The article thus strengthens claims for the ‘cultural agency’ of asylum workers and offers new insights into the cultural antecedents of professionalisation and trade unionism.

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The research for this article was generously funded by a Curran Fellowship from the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. I am grateful to Lee-Ann Monk, Kirsten MacLeod, Stephanie Thomson and Amy Milka, as well as the two anonymous reviewers for Medical History, for their comments on earlier drafts of the paper. Special thanks also to Louise Neilson from the Lothian Health Services Archive for her research assistance.



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1. Shuttleworth, George, ‘Notes and News’, Asylum News [hereafter AN], 8, 12 (1904), 105.

2. Carpenter, Mick, ‘The Development of Trade Union Activity among Nurses in Britain 1910–76. Vol. I’ (unpublished PhD thesis: University of Warwick, 1985), 110.

3. See, e.g., ibid., 100–50; Christopher Hart, Behind the Mask: Nurses, Their Unions and Nursing Policy (London: Baillière Tindall, 1994), chapter 2; Karen Jennings and Glenda Western, ‘A Right to Strike?’, Nursing Ethics 4, 4 (1997), 277–82: 279–80.

4. See, e.g., Carpenter, op. cit. (note 2), 112; Peter Nolan, A History of Mental Health Nursing (London: Chapman and Hall, 1993); Michael Arton, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Asylum Worker’s Association: The History of a “Company Union”,’ International History of Nursing Journal, 7, 3 (2003), 41–9; Neil Brimblecombe, ‘Asylum Nursing in the UK at the End of the Victorian Era: Hill End Asylum’, Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 12 (2005), 57–63: 61; Anna Shepherd, Institutionalizing the Insane in Nineteenth-Century England (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2014), 61.

5. McCrae, Niall and Nolan, Peter, The Story of Nursing in British Mental Hospitals: Echoes from the Corridors (London and New York: Routledge, 2016), 53.

6. Nolan, op. cit. (note 4), 70.

7. Russell, Richard, ‘Mental Physicians and Their Patients: Psychological Medicine in the English Pauper Lunatic Asylums of the Later Nineteenth Century’ (unpublished PhD thesis: University of Sheffield, 1983), 305–19; Anne Digby, Madness, Morality and Medicine: A Study of the York Retreat 1796–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); Leonard Smith, ‘Behind Closed Doors: Lunatic Asylum Keepers, 1800–60’, Social History of Medicine, 1, 3 (1988), 301–27; Jonathan Andrews, ‘Bedlam Revisited: A History of Bethlem Hospital c1634–c1770’ (unpublished PhD thesis: QMUL, 1991), chapter 5; Brimblecombe, op. cit. (note 4); Louise Hide, Gender and Class in English Asylums, 1890–1914 (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); Shepherd, op. cit. (note 4), 48–62; Claire Chatterton, “‘Always remember that you are in your senses”: from keeper to attendant to nurse’, in Thomas Knowles and Serena Trowbridge (eds), Insanity and the Lunatic Asylum in the Nineteenth Century (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2015), 85–97.

8. As Anne Borsay and Pamela Dale note, existing studies of mental nursing lack the ‘personal testimony’ necessary to comprehensively appraise the workers’ sense of individual and collective identity (‘Mental health nursing: the working lives of paid carers from 1800 to the 1990s’, in Anne Borsay and Pamela Dale (eds), Mental Health Nursing: The Working Lives of Paid Carers in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015), 1–27: 8–9).

9. See, e.g., Robert Dingwall, Anne M. Rafferty and Charles Webster, An Introduction to the Social History of Nursing (London: Routledge, 2002), 128; Mark Finnane, Insanity and the Insane in Post-Famine Ireland (London: Croom Helm, 1981), 182–5; Michael Arton, ‘The Professionalisation of Mental Nursing in Great Britain, 1850–1950’ (unpublished PhD thesis: UCL, 1998), chapter 3; Shepherd, op. cit. (note 4), 60.

10. Nolan, op. cit. (note 4), 61–5; Arton, ibid..

11. On working-class periodical culture, see, e.g., Paul T. Murphy, Toward a Working-Class Canon: Literary Criticism in British Working-Class Periodicals, 1816–58 (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1994); Julie F. Codell, ‘Alexander Somerville’s rise from serfdom: working-class self-fashioning through journalism, autobiography, and political economy,’ in Aruna Krishnamurthy (ed.), The Working-Class Intellectual in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009), 195–218; Florence Boos, ‘Introduction: The Literature of the Victorian Working Classes’, Philological Quarterly 92, 2 (2013), 131–45; Stephen Colclough, ‘Victorian print culture: periodicals and serial lives, 1830–60’, in Adam Smyth (ed.), A History of English Autobiography (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 237–51.

12. Faubert, Michelle, Rhyming Reason: The Poetry of Romantic-Era Psychologists (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2009). See also Anne Digby, ‘Shaping new identities: general practitioners in Britain and South Africa’, in Kent Maynard (ed.), Medical Identities: Health, Well-Being and Personhood (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007), 14–35: 17–19.

13. Bordogna, Francesca, ‘Scientific Personae in American Psychology: Three Case Studies’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 36 (2005), 95134.

14. On the historical construction of ‘medical identities’, see, e.g., Ludmilla Jordanova, ‘Writing medical identities 1780–1820’, in Elinor S. Shaffer (ed.), The Third Culture: Literature and Science (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyer, 1998), 204–14; Kent Maynard (ed.), Medical Identities: Health, Well-Being and Personhood (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007); Celeste Chamberland, ‘Between the Hall and the Market: William Clowes and Surgical Self-Fashioning in Elizabethan London’, The Sixteenth Century Journal 41, 1 (2010), 69–89.

15. While there were at least two individuals with the initials ‘A.E.M.’ who wrote for the Asylum News, they did so in recognisably different periods and contexts.

16. ‘Last Words to Our Members [editorial]’, AN23, 4 (1919), 25–7: 26.

17. All subsequent articles by Allway and Macdonald were signed with their initials, unless noted otherwise.

18. Biographical information on Francis Allway was taken from the Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871, Class: RG10, Piece: 2640, Folio: 77, Page: 11 (Kew: The National Archives of the United Kingdom); 1881 English Census, RG11/2550/69: 6; 1911 English Census, RG14/9760/151; 1861 English Census, RG9/1778/41: 3 (James Allway, father), and RG9/1777/27: 11 (Ruth Philpott, mother).

19. Anonymous, ‘Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in Nursing’, Journal of Mental Science, 40, 171 (1894), 705–7.

20. London County Council, ‘London County Asylum Claybury. Register of Officers and Servants (1896)’, LCC/PH/STA/5/4 (London: London Metropolitan Archives).

21. London County Council, ‘Register of Officers and Servants, Claybury Asylum (1912)’, LCC/PH/STA/5/7 (London: London Metropolitan Archives), f. 15.

22. Shuttleworth, George, ‘Reading Union’, AN, 8, 12 (1904), 106.

23. Shuttleworth, George, ‘Notes and News’, AN, 9, 10 (1905), 93.

24. Anonymous, ‘Asylum Workers’ Association. The Annual Meeting. Pensions, Self-Culture, and Recreation’, AN12, 6 (1908), 53–8: 56.

25. Allway, Francis, ‘An Address to Asylum Workers Outside the A.W.A.’, AN, 11, 10 (1907), 100; Francis Allway, ‘A Friendly Talk to Attendants Who Have Not Yet Joined the A.W.A.’, AN, 12, 3 (1908), 29; Francis Allway, ‘Why Do You Not Take in “The Asylum News”?’, AN, 13, 2 (1909), 23.

26. Allway, Francis, ‘Observations on Observing. For Beginners’, I, AN 10, 3 (1906), 22.

27. See, e.g., Gregory Claeys, ‘The “Survival of the Fittest” and the Origins of Social Darwinism’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 61, 2 (2000), 223–40: 233–5; Richard Weikart, ‘Laissez-faire Social Darwinism and Individualist Competition in Darwin and Huxley’, The European Legacy, 3, 1 (1998), 17–30.

28. Mackenzie, Donald, ‘Karl Pearson and the Professional Middle Class’, Annals of Science, 36 (1979), 125143: 137; L. Stephen Jacyna, ‘Somatic Theories of Mind and the Interests of Medicine in Britain, 1850–79’, Medical History, 26 (1982), 233–58: 257.

29. See, e.g., Robert Jones, ‘Medico-Psychological Association of Great Britain and Ireland: Presidential Address on the Evolution of Insanity, delivered July 26th, 1906’, The Journal of Mental Science, 52, 219 (1906), 629–61; Charles Ewart, ‘Eugenics and Degeneracy,’ The Journal of Mental Science, 56, 235 (1910), 670–85.

30. Buklijas, Tatjana, ‘The laboratory and the asylum: Francis Walker Mott and the pathological laboratory at London County Council Lunatic Asylum, Claybury, Essex (1895–1916)’, History of Psychiatry, 28, 3 (2017), 311325.

31. Claeys, op. cit. (note 27), 237.

32. Allway, Francis, ‘Conquering Nature’, AN, 11, 10 (1907), 9799.

33. See, e.g., Gareth Stedman Jones, Outcast London: A Study in the Relationship between Classes in Victorian Society (Oxford, 1971); Bill Luckin, ‘Revisiting the Idea of Degeneration in Urban Britain, 1830–1900’, Urban History, 33, 2 (2006), 234–52.

34. Allway, Francis, ‘The Tragic War between Nature and the Great Towns’, AN, 10, 9 (1906), 8687: 86.

35. Ibid.

36. See, e.g., Robert Snape, ‘The Co-operative Holidays Association and the Cultural Formation of Countryside Leisure Practices’, Leisure Studies, 23, 2 (2004), 143–58: 143–4; Grant Rodwell, ‘Nature Enthusiasm, Social Planning and Eugenics in Australian State Schools, 1900–20’, Journal of Educational Administration and History, 29, I (1997), 1–19: 4–5; Luckin, op. cit. (note 33).

37. Allway, op. cit. (note 32), 86–7.

38. Ibid., 87.

39. On the influence of social Darwinism and eugenics on contemporary psychiatric thought, see Andrew T. Scull, The Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness and Society in Britain, 1700–1900 (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1993), 324–8; McCrae and Nolan, op. cit. (note 5), 37–8, 60–1.

40. Johnston [signed W.G.B.J.], William, ‘The Tragic War between Nature and the Great Towns’, AN, 10, 11 (1906), 111112: 111.

41. On the development of an ethos of scientific professionalism in medicine, see Michael Brown, Performing Medicine: Medical Culture and Identity in Provincial England, c.1760–1850 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011).

42. Allway, Francis, ‘The Evolution of the Male Nurse’, AN, 9, 11 (1905), 109110: 110; Hide, op. cit. (note 7), 86.

43. Allway, ibid., 110.

44. Shortt, S.E.D., ‘Physicians and Psychics: The Anglo-American Medical Response to Spiritualism, 1870–90’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 39 (1984), 339355: 348–51; Roy Porter, Madness: A Brief History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 183; Jacyna, op. cit. (note 28).

45. Arton, op. cit. (note 9), 103–11. Robert Jones claimed credit for pioneering scientific training for asylum nurses, based around lecture series and bedside instruction. See Robert Jones, A Text-book of Mental and Sick Nursing (London, 1907); anonymous, ‘Asylum Workers’ Association. Meeting at the Mansion House’, AN, 21, 2 (1917), 16–21: 19.

46. See, e.g., Erin McLaughlin-Jenkins, ‘Walking the Low Road: The Pursuit of Scientific Knowledge in Late Victorian Working-Class Communities’, Public Understanding of Science, 12 (2003), 147–66: 151.

47. Chung, Man Cheung and Nolan, Peter, ‘The Influence of Positivistic Thought on Nineteenth Century Asylum Nursing’, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 19 (1994), 226232: 230.

48. Allway, op. cit. (note 26).

49. Allway, Francis, ‘Observations on Observing. For Beginners,’ II, AN, 10, 4 (1906), 30.

50. Allway, op. cit. (note 26).

51. Medico-Psychological Association, Handbook for the Instruction of Attendants on the Insane (London, 1885), 47.

52. Chung and Nolan, op. cit. (note 47), 231.

53. Allway, op. cit. (note 26).

54. Chung and Nolan, op. cit. (note 47), 227.

55. Owen, Edith M., ‘Items of Interest to an Asylum Nurse Occurring among Epileptics’, AN, 10, 5 (1906), 3840: 38.

56. See, e.g., Malcolm Chase, Early Trade Unionism: Fraternity, Skill and the Politics of labour (London & New York: Routledge, 2017); Eric Hobsbawm, ‘Artisan or Labour Aristocrat?’ The Economic History Review, New Series, 37, 3 (1984), 355–72.

57. Allway, Francis, ‘The Ancient Order of Male Mental Nurses. Inaugurated, B.C. 1063’, AN, 12, 1 (1908), 35: 3.

58. Hide, op. cit. (note 7), 73; Russell, op. cit. (note 7), 312, 316–7; Lee-Ann Monk, Attending Madness: At Work in the Australian Colonial Asylum (Amsterdam and New York: Editions Rodopi B.V, 2008), 150.

59. Monk, ibid., 95–8.

60. Allway, Francis, ‘Philosophical Musings on Keeping Christmas’, AN, 9, 1 (1905), 8; Francis Allway, ‘Thoughts for the New Year’, AN, 8, 1 (1904), 7. See also Francis Allway, ‘A Little Moralising’, AN, 12, 1 (1908), 9.

61. Rose, Jonathan, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, 2nd edn (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2010), 5861.

62. Anonymous, op. cit. (note 24), 56.

63. Allway, Francis, ‘Lines on Neglected Literary Privileges’, AN, 9, 10 (1905), 100; Allway, ‘Thoughts’, op. cit. (note 60).

64. Young, Arlene, ‘“Entirely a Woman’s Question”? Class, Gender, and the Victorian Nurse’, Journal of Victorian Culture, 13, 1 (2008), 1841: 23–6; Hide, op. cit. (note 7), 75.

65. McCrae and Nolan, op. cit. (note 5), 53; Hide, op. cit. (note 7), 88–9.

66. Carpenter, op. cit. (note 2), 146.

67. Allway, Francis, ‘Remarks on the Nursing Controversy’, AN, 9, 2 (1905), 20.

68. Adams, Francis R., ‘From Association to Union: Professional Organization of Asylum Attendants, 1869–1919’, The British Journal of Sociology, 20, 1 (1969), 1126: 12–13; McCrae and Nolan, op. cit. (note 5), 51.

69. Allway, ‘Asylum News’, op. cit. (note 25). On the association between evolutionary theory and Victorian notions of ‘progress’, see Mark Bevir, The Making of British Socialism (Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011), 34–5.

70. Allway, Francis, ‘The Autobiography of a Door Mat. A Parable for Asylum Workers’, AN, 9, 6 (1905), 56.

71. Allway, op. cit. (note 57), 4.

72. Ibid.

73. Allway, ‘An Address’, op. cit. (note 25); Allway, ‘A Friendly Talk’, op. cit. (note 25).

74. Allway, Francis, ‘A Letter to Asylum Workers who are not Members of the A.W.A.’, AN, 10, 1 (1906), 8; Allway, ‘Asylum News’, op. cit. (note 25).

75. Allway, Francis, ‘To the Editor of the Asylum News’, AN, 10, 9 (1906), 9596; Timothy Barry, ‘To the Editor of the Asylum News’, AN, 10, 10 (1906), 104.

76. Carpenter, op. cit. (note 2), 98.

77. Clausen, Christopher, ‘How to Join the Middle Classes: With the Help of Dr Smiles and Mrs Beeton’, The American Scholar, 62, 3 (1993), 403418: 405.

78. Gray, Robert Q., ‘Styles of Life, the “Labour Aristocracy” and Class Relations in Later Nineteenth Century Edinburgh’, International Review of Social History, 18, 3 (1974), 428452: 448; Geoffrey Crossick, ‘The Labour Aristocracy and Its Values: A Study of Mid-Victorian Kentish London’, Victorian Studies, 19, (1976), 301–28; Rose, op. cit. (note 61), 62–70.

79. Thompson, F.M.L., The Rise of Respectable Society: A Social History of Victorian Britain, 1830–1900 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988), 199; Hobsbawm, op. cit. (note 56).

80. Allway, op. cit. (note 70).

81. Allway, Francis, ‘A Plea for Justice’, AN, 10, 12 (1906), 119120: 120.

82. Allway, Francis, ‘The Thin Edge of the Wedge’, AN, 12, 11 (1908), 105106: 105.

83. Ibid., 106.

84. Carpenter, op. cit. (note 2), 97–106.

85. ‘National Asylum-Workers’ Union. 3rd Annual Conference’, National Asylum Workers’ Union Magazine[hereafter NAWU Magazine], 2, 8 (1913), 3–9: 3.

86. Allway, Francis, ‘The Trade Unionist’s Psalm of Life’, NAWU Magazine, 2, 9 (1913), 4.

87. Allway had originally been part of a local working group seeking to agitate more effectively against the London County Council. Following a dispute with members from Hanwell Asylum he resigned his post as delegate-secretary, which precipitated a spat in the union Magazine. See Francis Allway [signed F.G. Allway], ‘The London Circle’, NAWU Magazine, 3, 5 (1914), 11.

88. McGann, Susan Yvonne, ‘Nursing record (1888–1956)’, in Brake, Laurel and Demoor, Marysa (eds), Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism in Great Britain and Ireland (Ghent: Academia Press, 2009), 464.

89. Information about Annie Macdonald’s employment history has been sourced from Bangour Village’s surviving staff records, at the Lothian Health Services Archive (specifically the Registers of Attendants Engaged, 1904–49 (LHB44/8/1/1-2) and the Registers of Attendants Leaving 1904-39 (LHB44/8/1/3-4)), and her Scottish nursing registration (Royal College of Nursing, ‘Nursing Applications, 1921–45’, Microfilm Reel No. 2 (Edinburgh, 1921)).

90. ‘Report of the Special Committee on the Economic Position of Nurses’, The British Journal of Nursing[hereafter BJN], 62, 1643 (1919), 189–94.

91. Macdonald, Annie, ‘War Work’, AN, 20, 2 (1916), 23.

92. Macdonald, Annie, ‘At Her Country’s Call’, AN, 18, 9 (1914), 79.

93. Robert, Krisztina, ‘Gender, Class, and Patriotism: Women’s Paramilitary Units in First World War Britain’, The International History Review, 19, 1 (1997), 5265; Paul Ward, “‘Women of Britain Say Go”: Women’s Patriotism in the First World War’, Twentieth Century British History, 12, 1 (2001), 23–45.

94. Macdonald, Annie, ‘Greater Love’, AN, 20, 1 (1916), 1011: 10.

95. Carpenter, op. cit. (note 2), 144.

96. McGregor, J.W., ‘Institution Items. Edinburgh District Asylum, Bangour Village’, AN, 19, 2 (1915), 14.

97. See, e.g., Annie Macdonald, ‘Harvest Moon’, AN, 19, 9 (1915), 74–5.

98. Palmer, Debbie, ‘The impact of the First World War on asylum and voluntary hospital nurses’ work and health’, in Brooks, Jane and Hallett, Christine (eds), One Hundred Years of Wartime Nursing Practices, 1854–1953 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015), 143161.

99. Undoubtedly, some observers overstated workers’ ‘patriotism’ in such instances. See, e.g., Hubert Bond’s comments at the AWA annual meeting in 1917 (anonymous, op. cit. (note 45), 20).

100. Jennings and Western, op. cit. (note 3), 279–80; Hart, op. cit. (note 3), 31–8.

101. Macdonald, Annie, ‘An Old Favourite’, AN, 19, 6 (1915), 42.

102. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 91).

103. Summers, Anne, ‘Ministering Angels’, History Today, 39 (1989), 3137.

104. Nolan, op. cit. (note 4), 51–4.

105. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 91). See also Annie Macdonald, ‘Some Nursing Reflections. The Ministry of Quietness’, AN, 22, 4 (1918), 43.

106. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 101); Annie Macdonald, ‘A Nurse’s Faith,’ AN, 20, 4 (1916), 45–6.

107. Annie Macdonald [signed Nurse Macdonald], ‘Is it Worth While?’, AN, 19, 4 (1915), 29–30: 29.

108. See Barbara Rosenwein, Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages (Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 2006).

109. See also Annie Macdonald [signed A.E. Macdonald], ‘Nursing the Insane in Private Dwellings’, AN, 22, 1 (1918), 7–8.

110. Hallam, Julia, ‘From Angels to Handmaidens: Changing Constructions of Nursing’s Public Image in Post-War Britain’, Nursing Inquiry, 5 (1998), 3242: 35.

111. Macdonald, Annie, ‘Sweetest Music’, AN, 19, 8 (1915), 66. On the conditions facing war nurses, see Christine Hallett, Veiled Warriors: Allied Nurses of the First World War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014); Anne Borsay and Sara Knight, “‘Who are these?” Nursing shell-shocked patients in Cardiff during the First World War’, in Anne Borsay and Pamela Dale (eds), Mental Health Nursing: The Working Lives of Paid Carers in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015), 75–97.

112. Robert, op. cit. (note 93), 63.

113. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 91).

114. Anonymous, ‘Asylum Nursing as a Profession for University Women’, AN, 2, 3 (1898), 29–30.

115. Sutherland, Gillian, In Search of the New Woman: Middle-Class Women and Work in Britain 1870–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 49.

116. Dingwall, Rafferty and Webster, op. cit. (note 9), 71.

117. Macdonald, Annie, ‘Humours of the Wheel’, AN, 19, 7 (1915), 60.

118. See, e.g., A[nnie] E. Macdonald, ‘Mental Nurses and Registration’, BJN, 70, 1837 (1923), 385. On the mixed fortunes of the campaign for nursing registration, see Hart, op. cit. (note 3), 27–30; Dingwall, Rafferty and Webster, op. cit. (note 9), chapter 5.

119. Macdonald, Annie, ‘The Use of Suggestion in the Treatment of Mental Diseases, as It Appears to a Mental Nurse’, AN, 18, 10 (1914), 9091: 90.

120. Ibid.

121. Tuke, Daniel Hack, Illustrations of the Influence of the Mind upon the Body in Health and Disease (London, 1872), 381.

122. Chaney, Sarah, ‘The Action of the Imagination: Daniel Hack Tuke and Late Victorian Psycho-Therapeutics’, History of the Human Sciences, 30, 2 (2017), 1733: 18.

123. Macdonald, Annie, ‘Was It Suggestion?’, AN, 19, 1 (1915), 7.

124. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 109), 8.

125. See, e.g., Macdonald, op. cit. (note 119), 90; Macdonald, ‘A Nurse’s Faith’, op. cit. (note 106), 45.

126. Macdonald, Annie, ‘The Use of Suggestion in Mental Nursing’, AN, 23, 3 (1919), 2324: 23.

127. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 119), 90.

128. Charland, Louis, ‘Benevolent Theory: Moral Treatment at the York Retreat’, History of Psychiatry, 18, 1 (2007), 6180: 67–71.

129. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 123).

130. Shamdasani, Sonu, ‘“Psychotherapy”: The Invention of a Word’, History of the Human Sciences, 18, 1 (2005), 122; Teri Chettiar “‘Looking as Little like Patients as Persons Well Could”: Hypnotism, Medicine and the Problem of the Suggestible Subject in Late Nineteenth-Century Britain’, Medical History, 56, 3 (2012), 335–54.

131. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 119), 90.

132. See, in particular, Macdonald, ‘A Nurse’s Faith’, op. cit. (note 106), 45; Madonald, op. cit. (note 126), 23.

133. Dingwall, Rafferty and Webster, op. cit. (note 9), 36-40.

134. Hickey, Wakoh S., ‘Mind Cure, Meditation, and Medicine: Hidden Histories of Mental Healing in the United States’ (unpublished PhD thesis: Duke University, 2008); Rick Gilman, ‘The Unity School of Christianity and the Development of Therapeutic Culture in the United States, 1889–1920’ (unpublished PhD thesis: Bowling Green State University, 1996).

135. Gilman, ibid., 6; Dell deChant, ‘The American new thought movement’, in Eugene V. Gallagher and W. Michael Ashcraft (eds), Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America, Volume 3: Metaphysical, New Age, and Neopagan Movements (Westport, CT and London: Greenwood Press, 2006), 67–91: 81; Eva S. Moskowitz, In Therapy We Trust: America’s Obsession with Self Fulfillment (Baltimore, MD and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), 26.

136. Satter, Beryl, Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875–1920 (Berkeley, CA, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1999), 242–4; Graham Richards, ‘Britain on the Couch: The Popularization of Psychoanalysis in Britain 1918–40’, Science in Context, 13, 2 (2000), 183–230: 186; David T. Schmit, ‘Warren Felt Evans: 19th-Century Mystic, Wounded Healer, and Seminal Theorist-Practitioner of Mind Cure’, History of Psychology 21, 3 (2018), 187–207.

137. See Kirsten Macleod, ‘American Little Magazines of the 1890s and the Rise of the Professional-Managerial Class’, English Studies in Canada, 41, 1 (2015), 41–68.

138. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 119), 90; Macdonald, op. cit. (note 123).

139. deChant, op. cit. (note 135), 82; Stephen Gottschalk, The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life (Berkeley, CA, Los Angeles and London, 1973), 57–64.

140. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 126), 23.

141. Quoted in ibid.

142. Ibid.

143. Scull, op. cit. (note 39), 172. See also Mick Carpenter, ‘Asylum nursing before 1914: a chapter in the history of labour’, in Celia Davies (ed.), Rewriting Nursing History (London: Croom Helm, 1980), 123–46: 126; Hide, op. cit. (note 7), 91–2; Charland, op. cit. (note 128), 71–3.

144. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 123); Macdonald, op. cit. (note 119), 90.

145. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 126), 24.

146. Becker, Dana and Marecek, Jeanne, ‘Dreaming the American Dream: Individualism and Positive Psychology’, Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2, 5 (2008), 17671780: 1768.

147. In 1922 Macdonald elaborated on her medical ideals in a well-received lecture at the Royal British Nurses’ Association Club, titled ‘Mental Nursing Along the Lines of Suggestion and Constructive Thought’.

148. Porter, op. cit. (note 44), 183. On the contestation between institutional and psychical approaches to medicine and psychiatry, see Shortt, op. cit. (note 44); Alison Winter, Mesmerized: Powers of Mind in Victorian Britain (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1998), 225–30; Chaney, op. cit. (note 122), 27.

149. deChant, op. cit. (note 135), 81.

150. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 119), 90–1.

151. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 126), 23.

152. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 123).

153. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 126), 24.

154. Ibid., 23.

155. Ibid.

156. Neuendorf, Mark, ‘A “Plea of Humanity”? Emotions and the Makings of Lunacy Reform in Britain, c.1770–1820’ (unpublished PhD thesis: University of Adelaide, 2017).

157. Macdonald, op. cit. (note 126), 23.

158. Ibid.

159. Monk, op. cit. (note 58), 13.

160. Boschma, Geertje, Young, Olive and Mychajlunow, Lorraine, ‘Gender and Professional Identity in Psychiatric Nursing Practice in Alberta, Canada, 1930–75’, Nursing Inquiry, 21, 4 (2005), 243255: 244. On the gendered assumptions that shaped Victorian-era asylum nursing, see also Hide, op. cit. (note 7); Monk, op. cit. (note 58).

161. Mangan, James A., ‘Social Darwinism and upper-class education in late Victorian and Edwardian England’, in Mangan, James A. and Walvin, James (eds), Manliness and Morality: Middle-Class Masculinity in Britain and America, 1800–1940 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987), 135159.

162. See, e.g. Digby, op. cit. (note 7), 168; Finnane, op. cit. (note 9), 182.

163. Monk, op. cit. (note 58), 201–21.

164. See, e.g., Finnane, op. cit. (note 9), 176–81; Neil Brimblecombe, ‘The Changing Relationship between Mental Health Nurses and Psychiatrists in the United Kingdom’, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 49, 4 (2005), 344–53: 344–48.

165. Chung and Nolan, op. cit. (note 47), 231.

166. Best, Charles, ‘The Influence of Music on the Sane and Insane’, AN, 4, 10 (1900), 9697: 97.

167. Rousseau, George S., Nervous Acts: Essays on Literature, Culture and Sensibility (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 52.

168. Sykes, Arthur, ‘To the Editor of Asylum News ’, AN, 4, 11 (1900), 110111: 111. See also P.E. Campbell, ‘To the Editor of Asylum News’, AN, 4, 12 (1900), 118–9.

169. Sykes, op. cit. (note 168), 111.

170. Lishman, W.W., ‘To the Editor of Asylum News ’, AN, 4, 11 (1900), 112.

171. Charles Best, ‘To the Editor of Asylum News’, AN, 4, 12 (1900), 119.

172. See, e.g., Michael Shepherd, ‘Psychological Medicine Redivivus: Concept and Communication’, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 79 (1986), 639–45: 641; Scull, op. cit. (note 39), 234; Andrew T. Scull, Charlotte MacKenzie and Nick Hervey, Masters of Bedlam: The Transformation of the Mad-Doctoring Trade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996); Michael Brown, ‘Medicine, Reform and the “End” of Charity in Early Nineteenth-Century England’, The English Historical Review, CXXIV, 511 (2009), 1353–88.

173. Laurel Brake, Bill Bell and David Finkelstein, ‘Introduction’, in Laurel Brake, Bill Bell and David Finkelstein (eds), Nineteenth-Century Media and the Construction of Identities (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003), 1–7: 3.

174. Margaret Beetham, ‘The agony aunt, the romancing uncle and the family of empire: defining the sixpenny reading public in the 1890s’, in Laurel Brake, Bill Bell and David Finkelstein (eds), Nineteenth-Century Media and the Construction of Identities (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003), 235–70: 255.

The research for this article was generously funded by a Curran Fellowship from the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. I am grateful to Lee-Ann Monk, Kirsten MacLeod, Stephanie Thomson and Amy Milka, as well as the two anonymous reviewers for Medical History, for their comments on earlier drafts of the paper. Special thanks also to Louise Neilson from the Lothian Health Services Archive for her research assistance.



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