Skip to content ↓

The Charter School

North Dulwich

Leading historian in school

Thank you so much to Sarah Wise who gave a fascinating lecture on 9 December



We were delighted to welcome – SARAH WISE to school on Monday as part of our history symposium series organised by the history department at The Charter School.. Ms Wise whose new book  - Inconvenient people. Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad Doctors of Victorian England is now out in paperback and she gave a fascinating insight into her research and her journey to becoming a leading author. Here is a review from the Independent in November.

Who would have thought that an epic exploration of the misdiagnosis of madness by Victorian doctors would be so action-packed and entertaining?  After her enthralling explorations of the down-at-heel 19th century in The Italian Boy and The Blackest Streets, Wise has moved on to dark doings among the middle and upper orders. The first of her dozen, immaculately-researched case studies instantly grabs the reader. Despite being tied to his mother’s apron-stings, the eccentric Edward Davies made a fortune in the London tea market. When he finally finds independence, his mother had him incarcerated at the private asylum of Dr George Burrows, a pioneer alienist who claimed that the mad could be detected by their distinctive aroma. In the consequent court case, however, a jury found Davies to be of “perfectly sound mind”.