Oh, Laura, what a gift!
Posted by Caroline on January 10, 1998 at 20:50:51:
In response to childbearing, confinements, and churching (LONG!), written by Laura W on January 10, 1998 at 20:18:27
Thank you so much, Laura! you have given so many gifts in one!
Firstly, thanks for the book reference- it sounds like a definite one for the biography!
Secondly, for answering my question, put so long ago, about churching, and the formalisation of childbirth rituals. The academic world is, on the whole, reluctant to take on tradition and folklore, which so often is dismissed as the result of untutored and unrefined ignorance. You have just proved the importance of such tradition in the minutiae of everyday life!
Even today, churches in the C of E have a small side chapel called 'the Lady Chapel' which is reserved for 'giving thanks to God by mothers' -rather a nice way of bringing a woman back into public life.
Thirdly, the account itself, which is clearly applicable to the period of Jane Austen's Childhood, at least, an dis interesting in it's own right.
And fourthly ,the tidbit at the end- about smallpox innoculations, which is one of my favourite Georgian stories, which I'll expand on myself some day- when there is an excuse to do so!
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