Motherhood is a complex issue involving the mechanics of pregnancy and childbirth and the life experience of mothering and rearing children. This book provides a detailed account of the history of maternity and child welfare in Dublin between 1922 and 1960. It places maternity and child welfare in the context of twentieth-century Irish history. The book offers accounts of how women and children were viewed, treated and used by key lobby groups in Irish society and by the Irish state. It explores the development of female 'social rights of citizenship' during the first forty years of Independence. Maternity and child welfare often provided the pretext for debate on issues quite apart from mothers and children, which related to the deep-seated fears regarding the power lines in Irish society. In Britain, awareness on infant mortality led to a series of investigative committees, including the Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration and the National Conference of Infant Mortality. A constant theme throughout the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s was how the standard of maternity and child welfare services varied throughout the country. The book discusses the Dublin experiment. In the early part of the twentieth century, the ignorance of Dublin mothers was blamed for the high rate of infant mortality in the city. The stringency of the Emergency period, the sustained atmosphere of deprivation throughout the 1940s and the British White Paper, A National Health Service stimulated a debate in Ireland regarding the public health services.
Maternity and child welfare in Dublin 1922–60
Maternal welfare and child health, 1920–40
3 The Dublin mother: maternal welfare and child health, 1920–40 Without doubt, apart from the special needy cases, ignorance on the part of young mothers is one of the greatest factors in the production of our high infant mortality rates; and, it is the wide-spread teaching of the simple rules of mothercraft we must rely upon if we are to save the babies and reduce the high death-rates … The mother has now every opportunity at her door for obtaining the necessary advice as to how to rear her infant, but the Treasury … has not provided adequately to give
the end of her life, wrote her Miscellanea for her son Bernye, her purpose was to ensure that her maternal advice and guidance would continue to support Bernye after she died: ‘I leave thee this portable veni mecum for thy Counsellor, in which thou mayest see the true portraiture of thy mothers minde’. She writes of herself as at a point of transition between life and death, ‘a dead woman among the living’, and she knows that this
Angela Carter and European Gothic
This book develops insights into the vexed question of Carter's textual practices through the dusty lens of the Gothic. It argues that European Gothic is vital to illuminating and understanding the tension between politics and aesthetics in Carter's work. The book shows how a more concerted focus on Carter's European literary inheritance sheds light on her particular and perverse engagements with androcentric literary and cultural frameworks. It emblematises the tension between her textual extravagancies and her self-declared 'absolute and committed materialism'. Her firm belief 'that this world is all that there is, and in order to question the nature of reality one must move from a strongly grounded base in what constitutes material reality'. The book examines the fraught relationship between Carter's sexual and textual politics. Exploring the ways in which Carter's work speaks to broader discussions about the Gothic and its representations, the book is especially concerned with analysing her textual engagements with a male-authored strand of European Gothic. This is a dirty lineage that can be mapped from the Marquis de Sade's obsession with desecration and defilement to surrealism's violent dreams of abjection. The book not only situates Carter as part of a European Gothic tradition but theoretically aligns her with what Jane Gallop, in her book on Sade, describes as France's "deconstructive" feminism, daughter of antihumanism.
This book studies the mother figure in English drama from the mid-sixteenth to the early seventeenth centuries. It explores a range of genres from popular mystery and moral plays to drama written for the court and universities and for the commercial theatres, including history plays, comedies, tragedies, romances and melodrama. Familiar and less-known plays by such diverse dramatists as Udall, Bale, Phillip, Legge, Kyd, Marlowe, Peele, Shakespeare, Middleton, Dekker and Webster are subject to readings that illuminate the narrative value of the mother figure to early modern dramatists. The book explores the typology of the mother figure by examining the ways in which her narrative value in religious, political and literary discourses of the period might impact upon her representation. It addresses a range of contemporary narratives from Reformation and counter-Reformation polemic to midwifery manuals and Mother's Legacies, and from the political rhetoric of Mary I, Elizabeth and James to the reported gallows confessions of mother convicts and the increasingly popular Puritan conduct books. The relations between tradition and change and between typology and narrative are explored through a focus upon the dramatised mother in a series of dramatic narratives that developed out of rapidly shifting social, political and religious conditions.
Female sexual agency and male victims
[O]n genetic grounds, mother–son incest should be the rarest, brother–sister more common, and father–daughter the most common. Joseph Shepher, Incest : A Biosocial View ( 1983 ) 1 In examining the occurrence of
Family, school and antenatal education
3 Educating mothers: family, school and antenatal education D uring the second half of the twentieth century the question of how girls should be prepared for their future role as mothers provoked considerable debate. There was often disagreement about where the education of mothers should take place; and indeed if such education was necessary at all. Significant changes also took place over the period, as the assumption that all women would want to be mothers was challenged. Moreover, despite the rhetoric during these years about the need to educate girls to be
Feminine and feminist educators and thresholds of Indian female interaction, 1870–1932
response, Gandhi had at his disposal a bewildering array of possible criticisms about a clearly failed education system, yet he posed a simple question: would Hartog’s colonial education make Indian girls better mothers? 1 This chapter examines the emerging receptiveness of leading European females to the increasingly recognisable, to them, veracity of Indian cultural and
7 Illegitimate motherhood, 1922–60 May I place before you my sorrow and plead of you to do something to help my Eldest Daughter she is Eldest of 14 children … She is 20 years old … in the year of 1933 she had a Baby Girl. She is four year old I then placed the case in Hands of Rev Fr D. cc. failing to get the Boy to marry her she was only 16 years old. I acted on the advice of Fr D. I took the Baby a Brough (sic) it up as one of my own … I let her mother go out to work. She picket (sic) up with another Boy and he would not marry her because she had a child. She
Conclusion In 1954 Revd Cornelius Lucey, the Catholic Bishop of Cork, complained that motherhood had gone out of fashion particularly among urban mothers: There is no doubt that many housewives, in particular, feel the urge for greater freedom from domestic ties and that this is a factor that predisposes them towards having small rather than large families. This too is in accordance with the spirit of the age. They see no sufficient reason why they should give up going out to pictures, dances, races, clubs or perhaps jobs, for the sake of children … Another