Vernacular Bodies: The Politics of Reproduction in Early Modern England

Vernacular Bodies: The Politics of Reproduction in Early Modern England

by Mary E. Fissell
     
 

Making babies was a mysterious process in seventeenth-century England. Fissell uses popular sources - songs, jokes, witchcraft pamphlets, prayerbooks, popular medical manuals - to recover how ordinary men and women understood the processes of reproduction. Because the human body was so often used as a metaphor for social relations, the grand events of high politics

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Overview

Making babies was a mysterious process in seventeenth-century England. Fissell uses popular sources - songs, jokes, witchcraft pamphlets, prayerbooks, popular medical manuals - to recover how ordinary men and women understood the processes of reproduction. Because the human body was so often used as a metaphor for social relations, the grand events of high politics such as the English Civil War reshaped popular ideas about conception and pregnancy. This book is the first account of ordinary people's ideas about reproduction, and offers a new way to understand how common folk experienced the sweeping political changes that characterized early modern England.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199202706
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
01/18/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
1,271,491
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

1Reforming the body14
2The womb goes bad53
3Protesting and preaching90
4Henry Jessey, Sarah Wight, and the struggle to make women's bodies into knowledge115
5Culpeper's radical book135
6Reforming the family and refiguring the body in the English revolution157
7The restoration crisis in paternity196

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