Babies: History, Art, and Folklore

Overview

In centuries past, what role did the baby have in its society? What uncommon potions did a woman wanting to become pregnant have to drink? What rituals attended the baby's birth? What strange folk remedies were devised to soothe the pains of teething? In the days before sterilization, why was it safer to have an infant drink directly from a donkey's teat than from a bottle made from a cow's horn? What was the theory behind the highly restricting swaddling clothes that cocooned babies for hundreds of years? How ...
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1997 Hardcover New, but shop soiled with folding on dust jacket edges. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is ... necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

In centuries past, what role did the baby have in its society? What uncommon potions did a woman wanting to become pregnant have to drink? What rituals attended the baby's birth? What strange folk remedies were devised to soothe the pains of teething? In the days before sterilization, why was it safer to have an infant drink directly from a donkey's teat than from a bottle made from a cow's horn? What was the theory behind the highly restricting swaddling clothes that cocooned babies for hundreds of years? How have theories of rocking changed over the centuries? Leading us into unfamiliar territory, Beatrice Fontanel and Claire d'Harcourt have delved into all manner of historical documents to unearth attitudes toward babies and the care given them from antiquity to the present.

Babies: History, Art & Folklore, by Béatrice Fontanel and Claire d'Harcourt, with an introduction by Robert Coles, is a highly illustrated (245 illustrations, 187 in color) and imaginative survey of theories on conception, pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing, from antiquity through the 20th century.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YALavish illustrations and information about infant care and management as portrayed in history, folklore, and art from ancient to modern times. All aspects of a child's life are examined from teething to hygiene to nutrition as the theories of childbirth and rearing progressed (or regressed in some cases) over the centuries. The evolution of equipment such as pincers (forceps) for birthing, wicker skits for walkers, swaddling cloths and plastic diapers, buggies and playthings are described and profusely illustrated. The most interesting aspect of the book is the examination of the treatment of babies that is so often dependent upon the economic and social standing of the family and the superstitions of the time. Quotes by philosophers and physicians as well the lullabies and rhymes of the common folk punctuate the ever-changing and contradictory theories of child care. The reproductions of fine art and the journal advertisements and photos command attention, but the text is equally absorbing. This is a truly gorgeous book, wonderfully browsable and equally useful for reports on the role of women and children in society throughout the centuries. The lack of an index is compensated for by a complete table of contents.Jackie Gropman, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA
Kirkus Reviews
In the Middle Ages, it was believed that a concoction of herbs boiled in white wine could aid conception, and a garlic clove was used for an early version of the home pregnancy test. According to a Paris police report, of 21,000 babies born in 1780, 19,000 were sent away to wet nurses outside the city. Fontanel, a French children's book author, and d'Harcourt, a book designer and illustrator, have gathered these and a host of other fascinating tidbits in this gallimaufry of art and history. From conception through infancy, no aspect of babyhood escapes attention. The colorful images range from Honoré Daumier's print of a pregnant woman overcome with a craving to bite a passing baker, to a 19th- century Japanese print of lounging pregnant women, the fetuses in their rounded bellies visible as though by sonogram, to photographs of early four-wheel baby carriages. A delight to look at and browse through.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810912441
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/1997
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 6
I Expecting 8
II Childbearing 24
III Caring 62
IV Feeding 88
V Looking After 128
VI Washing and Dressing 144
VII Carrying 168
VIII Rocking 188
IX Understanding 206
Bibliography 222
Photograph Credits 224
Acknowledgments 224
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