Reviews Book

Medicine and Magnificence: British Hospital and Asylum Architecture 1660-1815

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 24 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:741
  1. Jeremy Hugh Baron, honorary professorial lecturer
  1. Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA

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    Christine Stevenson

    Yale University Press, £30, pp 312

    ISBN 0 300 08536 2

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    There were more than a thousand medieval English hospitals, almost all modest. From the middle of the 15th century, rulers in western Europe commissioned great new hospitals for their own and their cities' glory, as well as deeds of charity that might secure them and their families life everlasting. Their motives included piety, prestige, and pleasure. Our renaissance ruler Henry VII based his vast 100-patient Savoy hospital on these motives and Italian models. He ensured there were Tudor roses on the gowns of the staff and on the Tudor coloured counterpanes of the beds; the roof and stained glass windows were also of royal quality.

    Large, arched windows illuminated the galleries …

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