My Experiences in a Lunatic Asylum

Herman Charles Merivale (1839 - 1906)

Fully titled My Experiences in a Lunatic Asylum, by a Sane Patient, this memoir describes its author's, Herman Merivale's, experience in one of England's countryside asylums during the 1860's. The main subject - in this case, the author - is less than justly sentenced to a facility for the mentally disturbed. Literally crazy caricatures abound, prisoner and jailer alike. Lofty psychology experts float in and out of Merivale's stay, some more respectable than others, but mostly clueless to patients' real needs. Nurses withhold or too bountifully dispense medications. Wardens rely on inhumane tactics to illicit compliance. As our writer states, this time in British history was "when imprisonment was a form of cruelty which [needed] a new name." He highlights the horrific, hopeless conditions faced by any man, woman or child with even a mild case of depression or of schizophrenia or, for perhaps the most unfortunate souls, of ill-meaning family paying hefty sums to have them committed. (Summary by Lily Gross)

Genre(s): Memoirs

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Chapter I Carol Cotter
Play 02 Chapter II Carol Cotter
Play 03 Chapter III Carol Cotter
Play 04 Chapter IV Carol Cotter
Play 05 Chapter V Lisa Reichert
Play 06 Chapter VI shevyon4HIM
Play 07 Chapter VII Carol Cotter
Play 08 ‘L’envoi.’ Carol Cotter