• Eloquent, compassionate, and utterly absorbing. A book about family and friendship, about the complexities of memory, about care and the failure of care, The Last Asylum is the best sort of memoir, transcending the purely personal to confront a larger social history.

    Sarah Waters
  • This superb book combines both the experience of the patient and the eye of the historian. Riveting, insightful and relentlessly honest, it is both social history and memoir, and makes an important contribution to contemporary debates on the treatment of mental distress

    Darian Leader
  • We believe our response to mental illness is more enlightened, kinder and effective than that of the Victorians who built the asylums. Can we be sure? Barbara Taylor's sombre investigation, calling on personal experience, challenges complacency, exposes shallow thinking, and points out the flaws and dangers of treatment on the cheap. It is a wise, considered and timely book

    Hilary Mantel
  • Beautiful . . . it is hard to write well enough about this book because it is so good

    Susie Orbach, Independent
  • Moving, brave and intelligent

    Susan Hill, The Times
  • Exquisitely written and provocative

    Sunday Times
  • Dazzling . . . a tale that compels you to keep turning the pages . . . a great achievement, full of life and hope

    Sunday Telegraph
  • Powerful