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29th Jun, 2022

New book tells story of doctor at Victorian asylum in Hatton

Laura Kearns 29th Jan, 2018

THE STORY of 19th century doctor at Hatton Asylum has been told by a retired 21st century doctor.

Alastair Robson has penned ‘Unrecognised by the World at Large’, a biography of the asylum’s first medical superintendent Dr Henry Parsey.

The imposing Victorian asylum once housed some 1,600 patients and under Dr Parsey’s lead was internationally respected for the excellence of its care.

The book offers a perspective of living and working in a Victorian asylum. It discusses the care of the mentally-ill before and after the asylum era.

The asylum was previously called the Warwick County Lunatic Asylum and later the Warwickshire County Mental Hospital.

It was closed in 1995 and much of the building has since been demolished, making way for the Hatton Park housing estate.

Since its closure it has been replaced by St Michael’s Hospital in Warwick, which was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996. It is run by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust.

Author Alastair Robson said: “I discovered the ward to which I had been sending patients from my GP surgery in Southam was in fact named after Dr Henry Parsey, the asylum’s first medical superintendent.

“I also found he had been widely respected by his colleagues for the excellent care he provided for his patients, and an obituary in the “Lancet” regretted ‘that he had been unrecognised by the world at large’.

“After my retirement and some more research, I thought why hasn’t someone written something substantial about the good doctor before now? So I decided it was going to have to be me. I took ‘Unrecognised by the World at Large’ for a title, a deep breath in, and began.

“The book will appeal to readers interested in the history of medicine and Warwickshire history in general”

The book is available on Amazon and from local bookshops.

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