Children Remembered: Responses to Untimely Death in the Past

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Liverpool University Press, 2006 - Family & Relationships - 288 pages
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Children Remembered discusses the relationship between parents and children in the past. It focuses on the ways in which adults responded to the untimely deaths of children, whether and how they expressed their grief. The study engages with the hypothesis of ‘parental indifference’ associated with the French cultural historian Philippe Ariès by analysing the changing risk of mortality since the sixteenth century and assessing its consequences. It uses paintings and poems to describe feelings and emotions in ways that are not only highly original, but also challenge traditional disciplinary conventions. The circumstances of infant and child mortality are considered for France and England, while example portraits and poems are selected from England and America. While the work is firmly grounded in demography, it is especially concerned with current debates in social and cultural history, with the history of childhood, the way pictorial images can be ‘read’, and the use as historical evidence to which literature may be put. This is a wide- ranging and ambitions multi-disciplinary study that will add significantly to our understanding of demographic structures; the ways in which they have conditioned attitudes and behaviour in the past.
 

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Contents

Après la mort des enfants
7
Mortality Childcare and Mourning
33
Children in Pictures and Monuments
61
Emotions and Literature
95
Poems Mainly of Child Loss
131
The Vocabulary of Grief
169
Parallel Histories Experience and Expression
209
Acknowledgements
217
Notes on the SixtyNine Poems
219
Notes
231
Select Bibliography
270
Index
281
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About the author (2006)

Robert Woods is the John Rankin Professor of Geography at the University of Liverpool and a fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of An Atlas of Victorian Mortality and The Demography of Victorian England and Wales, the former published by Liverpool University Press.

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