Beyond Asylums. "'Madness' In Australia: Histories, Heritage and the Asylum", by Catharine Coleborne and Dolly MacKinnon (eds) [review]
One of the problems faced by a slim tome such as this is that mental health services in Australia, since their inception, have been characterised by an extraordinary level of complexity and diversity. To capture their essence in a small, multi-author volume, and to provide a coherent, integrated synopsis, as the editors might have hoped, is probably not achievable. If, however, we are to view "'Madness' in Australia" with less aspiration — as a collection of essays devoted to different, often novel, aspects of asylums and institutions — then it becomes an absorbing and welcome addition to the literature and furthers our understanding of these grand edifices.