[Milton-L] Source (death poems, infant mortality, etc.)

Sara van den Berg vandens at slu.edu
Sat Jan 31 09:30:36 EST 2004


One source of information about parent-child relationships in  Early Modern
England is Linda Pollock.  See Forgotten Children: Parent-Child
Relationships from 1500 to 1900 (1983), and her compilation of sources, A
Lasting Relationship: Parents and Children over Three Centuries (1987).  She
did a lot of reading in family letters and diaries (in the Huntington
Library, where I met her) to test what parents actually said and did as
opposed to the sermons, tracts, and manuals about what parents "should" do.

Sara van den Berg
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Margaret Thickstun" <mthickst at hamilton.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at koko.richmond.edu>
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2004 9:10 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Source (death poems, infant mortality, etc.)


> Jameela--the Natural History article I mentioned argues that, in
> these Brazilian slums struggling with extreme poverty, a mother would
> assess the survivability of a particular newborn and nurture or
> not--invest herself or not emotionally--on that determination (and
> sometimes one infant's survivability would be downgraded because the
> woman had another toddler in which she was already invested).  The
> researcher had been struck by mothers who would callously watch one
> infant die, while feeding it only sugar water, but be inconsolable
> after the death of another infant/toddler.  So she posits this
> protective emotional response: if it won't live, don't get attached.
>
> It has always seemed to me a plausible psychological explanation for
> attachment in the past as well.  I'll find the reference.--Margie
>
> >
> >There's indeed a school of thought that posits a revolution in feeling
> >toward children--Lawrence Stone, Philip Aries, et al.--but it has
> >inevitably been challenged by a "continuist" school that insists that
> >people have always pretty much loved their offspring.  Joan Acocella
> >recently published a review of a Yale social history series, and she
> >particularly looks at the two interpretations of data on affective
> >attitudes toward children (_The New Yorker_, August 18-25, 2003).
> >Acocella more or less concludes (or at least reports someone else as
> >concluding) that it is impossible to determine the state of past
emotions,
> >since we only have certain kinds of records to go by.
> >
> >Jameela
> >--
> >Jameela Lares
> >Associate Professor of English
> >Univ. of So. Mississippi
> >118 College Drive #5037
> >Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
> >+601 266-6214
> >
> >_______________________________________________
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>
>
> -- 
> Margaret Thickstun
> Professor of English
> Hamilton College
> 198 College Hill Rd
> Clinton, NY 13323
> (315)859-4466
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