Remembrance of Patients Past
Patient Life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane, 1870-1940Book - 2000
In Remembrance of Patients Past, historian Geoffrey Reaume remembers previously forgotten psychiatric patients by examining in rich detail their daily life at the Toronto Hospital for the Insane (now called the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health - CAMH) from 1870-1940. Psychiatric patients endured abuse and could lead monotonous lives inside the asylum's walls, yet these same women and men worked hard at unpaid institutional jobs for years and decades on end, created their own entertainment, even in some cases made their own clothes, while forming meaningful relationships with other patients and some staff.
Using first person accounts by and about patients - including letters written by inmates which were confiscated by hospital staff - Reaume weaves together a tapestry of stories about the daily lives of people confined behind brick walls that patients themselves built.