Daniel Tuke’s book discusses the prevalence as well as causes of insanity in various ancient cultures such as The Prehistoric Period, Egyptian, Jewish, Greek, and Roman. In modern causes of insanity Tuke looks at various facets in regard to everyday life: working classes, agricultural districts, defective nourishment and so on. The book also touches upon the view of insanity versus social reform, as well as the signs of symptoms and the importance of steps towards prevention.
The Tuke Family was long prominent in medical education and the treatment of mental illnesses. Daniel Hack Tuke made major contributions to psychiatry through his organizational involvement, writing, and clinical activities. Tuke was active in the British Medical Association and was elected the president of the Medico-Psychological Association of Great Britain in 1881. Besides his many articles, Daniel Tuke wrote a number of books. Insanity in ancient and Modern Life was first published in 1878.