Bedlam in mind: seeing and reading historical images of madness

Cross, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-2301-7318, 2012. Bedlam in mind: seeing and reading historical images of madness. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 15 (1), pp. 19-34.

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In this article I explore mythical Bedlam of popular imaginings. London's Bethlem Hospital was for centuries a unique institution caring for the insane and its alter ego 'Bedlam' influenced popular stereotypes of insanity. For instance, while the type of vagrant beggar known as a 'Tom of Bedlam' was said to have disappeared from English society with the Restoration, the figure of Mad Tom retained a visual and vocal presence within popular musical culture from the seventeenth century up to the present era. Using the ballad 'Mad Tom o' Bedlam' as a case study, I illustrate how an early modern stereotype of madness has maintained continuity within a popular song tradition whilst undergoing cultural change.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: European Journal of Cultural Studies
Creators: Cross, S.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 2012
Volume: 15
Number: 1
Rights: Copyright 2012 by Sage Publications. All rights reserved. No portion of the contents may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:41
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:36

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