[Free eBook] The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Barbara Taylor [Award-Nominated 20th C Mental Health Treatment History & Memoir]

The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Canadian expat UK-resident author Barbara Taylor, an historian and professor of humanities at Queen Mary University of London, is a retrospective memoir cum history of mental health asylum treatment, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for April, and was a finalist for the 2015 RBC Taylor Prize for best Canadian work of literary non-fiction.

The memoir recounts the author’s decades-long struggle with anxiety, which eventually became severe enough to lead to a stay at the historic Friern Mental Hospital in North London in the 1980s, and the perception and treatment of mental illness in England during a turning point era which led to the closing of many asylums and the changes as their former patients were funneled into underfunded community care to mostly fend for themselves, with limited support available from knowledgeable professionals and loyal friends coping with their own mental health issues.

Offered worldwide through April, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] A Doctor’s Story: Life in the early years of the NHS by Ann Dally [1950s-1970s Medical History Memoir]

A Doctor’s Story: Life in the early years of the NHS by the late English author Ann Dally, a psychiatrist turned medical historian, is her autobiographical medical professional memoir cum history of the NHS, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1990 by Macmillan.

This career-retrospective memoir is also a part-history of the early National Health Service in Britain, recounting the experiences of the author in the 1950s-1970s as she trained to become a doctor and also juggled raising a family at a time when it was considered nearly impossible for a woman to have both, as well as her observations on the treatment of her psychiatric patients—many of whom were heroin addicts whom she felt were poorly served by detrimental NHS policies which she fought to have changed.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook REPEAT] Cicely: The Story of a Doctor by Ann Dally [Pioneering Medical Biography]

Cicely: The Story of a Doctor by the late English author Ann Dally, a psychiatrist turned medical historian, is a vintage biography of a pioneering historical medical figure, free again for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1968 by Victor Gollancz.

This biography of mid-20th century Jamaican physician Cicely Williams, who discovered and researched the malnutrition condition kwashiorkor and was appointed the first director of Mother and Child Health at the World Health Organization, covers her life up until 1945 and her journeys throughout the world as an open-minded colonial doctor who paid attention to local traditional knowledge, and took care of others while imprisoned in an internment camp in Malaya during World War II, among other experiences in an apparently remarkable life.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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