iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Episode 3

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Episode 3

Duration:
15 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 19 February 2014

The Last Asylum begins with Barbara Taylor's visit to the innocuously named Princess Park Manor in Friern Barnet, North London - a place of luxury flats and careful landscaping. But this is the former site of one of England's most infamous lunatic asylums, the Middlesex County Pauper Lunatic Asylum at Colney Hatch. At its peak, this asylum housed nearly 3,000 patients - including, in the late 1980s, Barbara Taylor herself.

Writing about The Last Asylum, Booker prize winner and memoirist, Hilary Mantel said, ''We believe our response to mental illness is more enlightened, kinder and effective than that of the Victorians who built the asylums. Can we be sure? Barbara Taylor challenges complacency, exposes shallow thinking, and points out the flaws and dangers of treatment on the cheap. It is a wise, considered and timely book'.

Darian Leader has described it as 'Superb, Riveting, insightful and relentlessly honest'.

Episode 3:
At severe risk of suicide and with her nightmares invading her waking world, the author was finally admitted to Friern Hospital, 'Colney Hatch'. Her analyst continues to challenge and support, her friends still visit, fellow patients are an unexpected source of warmth and humour.

Reader: Maggie Steed

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

Credits

Reader
Maggie Steed
Producer
Jill Waters
Abridger
Jill Waters
Author
Barbara Taylor

Broadcasts

Books & Authors Clip Collection

JKrowling

Interviews, previews and reviews

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.