The essays in this collection explore both organizational intentions and inhabitants' experiences in a diverse range of British residential institutions during a period when such provision was dramatically increasing. As a whole, the book addresses the subjects of inmates, environments and interactions as themes, with individual essays focusing on questions of authority, resistance, agency, domesticity and the material world. Institutions were intended to mould their inhabitants, and were organized in line with professional and economic constraints, public opinion, or the need to appeal to potential inmates. The authorities often modelled their arrangements on domestic ideals, and the imagined home was frequently the yardstick against which occupants measured their experiences of institutional life. Escapes, misbehaviour, complaints - even a newspaper campaign - demonstrate resistence towards the regimes, but there is evidence too of positive reactions and willing adoptions of institutional codes. Inhabitants are shown to have maintained external connections and even to have taken some control of their immediate environment.
Introduction - Jane Hamlett, Lesley Hoskins and Rebecca Preston 1 Paupers and their Experience of a Georgian Workhouse: St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, 1725-1830 - Jeremy Boulton and John Black 2 'Conceive a Spacious Building Resembling the Palace of a Peer. Airy, and Elevated, and Elegantly Surrounded by Swelling Grounds and Gardens': The Role of Nineteenth-Century British Lunatic Asylum Gardens in the Creation of a Homely, Therapeutic Environment - Clare Hickman 3 Pauperised by the Public Health? Taste and Citizenship at London's Infectious Disease Asylums, 1871-91 - Matthew Newsom Kerr 4 Home and Hospital: Space, Class and Gender in the Late Nineteenth-Century English Asylum - Louise Hide 5 'The Father and Mother of the Place': Inhabiting London's Public Libraries c.1890-1914 - Michelle Johansen 6 'A Veritable Palace for the Hard-Working Labourer'? Space, Material Culture and Inmate Experience in London's Rowton Houses, 1892-1918 - Jane Hamlett and Rebecca Preston 7 Viewing the c.1900 Institutional Interior through the Pages of Living London - Fiona Fisher 8 'Discipline with Home-like Conditions': The Living Quarters and Daily Life of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in First World War Britain and France - Krisztina Robert 9 Refuge or Prison? Girls' Experiences of a 'Home' for the Mentally Defective in Early Twentieth-Century Scotland - Mary Clare Martin 10 'The Place was a Home from Home': Convalescent Identity and Belonging in the English Cottage Home, c.1910-39 - Stephen Soanes 11 'Thick Pile Carpets have a Remarkably Civilizing Effect on the Students': Halls of Residence at the British Civic Universities, 1900-50 - William Whyte