Motherhood and Childrearing in Eighteenth Century England Annotated Bibliography

(1)  Barash, Carol & Greenfield, Susan. Inventing Maternity: Politics, Science, and
Literature, 1650-1865
. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1999. Barash and Greenfield discuss the issue of gender and maternity in a historical, political, and literary context. Specifically, they include a discussion on breastfeeding and maternal authority in Richardson’s Pamela.

(2)   Beekman, Daniel. The Mechanical Baby: A Popular History of the Theory and Practice of Child Raising. Westport: Lawrence Hill & Company, 1977. Beekman writes a history of childrearing beginning with the year 1450. He concentrates on the topic of midwives and the philosophy of “nature” in the eighteenth century.

(3)   Bowers, Toni. The Politics of Motherhood: British writing and culture, 1680-1760. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Bowers historicizes motherhood in an historical context, such as eighteenth century England, politics, and using literary works written by authors such as Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, and Samuel Richardson.

(4)   DeMause, Lloyd. The History of Childhood. New York: The Psychohistory Press, 1974. DeMause sets out to explain the history of childhood around the world, concentrating on life throughout Europe. The main idea regarding eighteenth century England is that of the role of “nature.” The information in the book is compiled by several authors.

(5)   Fyson, Nance Lui. Growing up in the Eighteenth Century. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd, 1977. Fyson writes of pertinent issues to children in the eighteenth century, including such issues as child labor, home life, school, and entertainment. She includes information on babies through adolescents.

(6)   Hardyment, Christina. Dream Babies: Child Care from Locke to Spock. London: Johnathan Cape Ltd, 1983. Hardyment provides a concise history from the 1700s through the 1900s about the philosophies of childhood and childrearing. She writes about the idea of swaddling, nourishment, adoption, and most significantly, of the role of “nature.”

(7)   Lewis, Judith. In the Family Way: Childbearing in the British Aristocracy, 1760-1860. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1986. Lewis discusses motherhood and childrearing in a historical context including such topics as love and marriage, pregnancy, childbirth and recovery, and a mother’s relationship with her children from infancy to their young childhood.

(8)   Nelson, James. An Essay on the Government of Children. London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1756. Nelson’s conduct manual on childrearing was the most well read in the eighteenth century. It deals with the health, manners, and education of children.

(9)   Sommerville, C. John. “English Puritans and Children: A Social-Cultural Explanation.” Journal of Psychohistory 6 (1978): 113-137. This article reviews life as a Puritan in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It gives a history of Puritan children growing up in both England and in America.

(10)  Stone, Lawrence.  The Family, Sex and Marriage in England 1500-1800.  New York:  Harper & Row, Publishers, 1977. Stone's popular book gives a history and an analysis of the family in England.  The author himself claims it to be "The best book of the history of the family in any nation or period."

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