Infanticide Historical Perspectives on Child Murder and Concealment, 1550–2000
The history of infanticide from the 16th through to the late 20th century is the subject of this volume. Collectively, the contributions explore how the concealment of pregnancy, birth and death, particularly by unmarried women, became a central preoccupation of witnesses, doctors, courts and legislatures concerned with suspicious infant deaths. While the emphasis is upon Britain, original and stimulating accounts of infanticide accusations and trials in France, Germany, and South Africa provide compelling comparative analyses. Presenting a series of case studies, successive chapters expose striking continuities, across both time and space, in the social history of infanticide. Clearly written, focusing on a range of original cases and documents, and addressing critical historiographical questions, Infanticide will be invaluable to historians and students researching the social history of medicine, law, crime, and gender. In addition, it will appeal to lawyers, doctors, and others interested in understanding the historical roots of modern debates about infanticide.
'... insightful studies of aspects of this interesting area of social history.' Parergon '... excellent collection of essays...' Continuity and Change 'Overall, the volume is an important contribution to the understanding of infanticide in a historical perspective.' Medical History 'The strength of this collection is the range of time periods, regions, circumstances, and evidence explored by contributors, whose attention to the details of specific cases bring the issues to life.' Albion