The confinement of the insane in purpose-built institutions spanned the modern western world, between 1800 and 1914
Suicidal patients constituted a significant proportion of the annual admissions to nineteenth-century public lunatic asylums in the United Kingdom.
A small number of the so-called “mad” were able to work within the confines of the asylum to create a public literary voice for themselves, ‘The Opal.’
In the nineteenth-century, United States of America mental institutions were seen as either the guardians or the adversaries of science, compassion, and liberty.
The source of an enduring anxiety about asylums can also be used to understand the attraction of contemporary psychiatric museums.