This book analyzes how poor eighteenth-century London women coped when they found themselves pregnant, their survival networks and the consequences of bearing an illegitimate child. It does so by exploring the encounters between poor women and the parish as well as London's lying-in hospitals and the Foundling Hospital. It suggests that unmarried mothers did not constitute a deviant minority within London's plebeian community. In fact, many could expect to find compassion rather than ostracism a response to their plight. All poor mothers, left without the support of their child's father, shared similar strategies of survival and economies of makeshift.
- Publication Date:
- 11 / 10 / 2005