The Statistics of the Retreat;
consisting of A Report and Tables, exhibiting the experience of that institution for the Insane; from its establishment in 1796, to 1840.
First edition. John Thurnham (1810-1873), medical superintendent of the Friends’ Retreat in York, and later superintendent of the Wiltshire County Asylum, “played an important part in the development of psychiatry by introducing the ‘numerical’ or ‘statistical’ method to its problems. ‘There are various questions’, he wrote, which ‘are only to be solved by recourse to numbers. Such … are the influence of sex and age, of climate, race, and different conditions of society, in the production of insanity. Such also … are the proportion of recoveries, the proportion of recurrent attacks and relapses, and the rate of mortality of mental disorders. Even when the facts to which numbers are applied are in themselves of a more doubtful character, – under which head, the causes, forms, and duration of the disorder may be mentioned, – and when the resulting statements are rather to be received as the approximate expression of the results obtained by different observers, they seem to me to be far from destitute of interest and value'” (Hunter & Macalpine, p. 941). The work was later incorporated in its entirety into Observations and Essays on the Statistics of Insanity, and on Establishments for the Insane (1843).
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Octavo (187 117 mm). Rebound in quarter calf, marbled boards, green morocco spine label. With two tables, one folding. A very good clean copy.