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The Presumed Curable Book Club

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Many books have been published about Bethlem Royal Hospital – introductory booklets, academic door-stoppers, breathless paperbacks, and even coffee table treatments. Some do a better job than others in charting Bethlem’s long history. But few give sustained attention to the stories of the individual patients who populated the Hospital, without whom it would not exist.

Presumed Curable tells the stories of around sixty Bethlem patients from the late Victorian era, using historic medical records and photographs taken by the Hospital. A poignant and often intensely sad portrait emerges from these stories of distress and trauma, refuge and (sometimes) recovery. The history of Bethlem Hospital is part of that picture, but front and centre are the experiences of its patients.

On Friday 8 May 2020, Bethlem Museum of the Mind’s virtual book club will reconvene to read Presumed Curable. The club will be supported by videos and tweets on our social media channels, and is free for anyone to join. Presumed Curable is out of print, but the Museum has copies which we can send to any UK address upon receiving £19.95.

To make an order:

(PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE THE BOOK IN GOOD TIME FOR THE START OF THE BOOK CLUB YOU WILL NEED TO ORDER BY THURSDAY 30TH APRIL 2020. Although you can join in any time - the videos will be up on our YouTube channel ready to use whenever you are ready.)

Send £19.95 by bank transfer to the Museum’s bank account - please email [email protected] for details.

We have good stocks of this book and will fulfill all UK orders until we run out. If you would like us to deliver to a non-UK address, please email [email protected] with your request, and we will quote you a price.


Whether or not you buy a copy of the book from us, we look forward to you joining our virtual book club on Friday 8 May!