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Medicine and Magnificence: British Hospital and Asylum Architecture, 1660-1815

  • Stevenson, Christine
  • Yale University Press/Paul Mellon Centre
  • 4to

Description

This book is the first devoted entirely to the hospitals and insane asylums of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and to the wide contemporary interest that they aroused. In examining the planning and construction of English and Scottish hospitals in this period, architectural historian Christine Stevenson focuses on what these buildings meant - to architects, builders, donors, physicians, and the public - and how their meanings and functions changed. Stevenson shows that hospital design was directed by medical theory and concerns to a greater degree than has been previously assumed. But this wide-ranging book is much more than a technical history. Blending social history with the details of construction, Stevenson introduces a large cast of players: voyeuristic women and dreaming engineers, military physicians who destroyed and Freemasons who built. In bringing to life those involved in designing and working in the institutions and those attacking them, too, she offers a new view of architectural, cultural and medical practice in the period as a whole. 312 pages, illustrated in b&w throughout. Black cloth in dustjacket, fine.

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