Abstract

Outside the experiences of a few royals and aristocrats, we know relatively little about medieval childbirth. To recover something of the concerns and priorities of medieval women as they carried, birthed, and nurtured infants, this article analyzes the material culture that bourgeois women in late medieval London used in childbirth. While late medieval women feared infertility, miscarriage, a long and painful labor, and the possibility of death for themselves or their child, the curation of childbirth items after the fact shows us that childbirth invoked family stories and was an investment in lineage. The items and their curation demonstrate that women valued their own role in the process of bringing babies into the world.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 126-148
Launched on MUSE
2016-06-13
Open Access
No
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