1st Edition

The Family in Past Perspective An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Familial Relationships Through Time

Edited By Ellen J. Kendall, Ross Kendall Copyright 2021
    260 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    260 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This volume takes a more comprehensive view of past familial dynamics than has been previously attempted. By applying interdisciplinary perspectives to periods ranging from the Prehistoric to the Modern, it informs a wider understanding of the term family, and the implications of family dynamics for children and their social networks in the past. 

    Contributors drawn from across the humanities and social sciences present research addressing three primary themes: modes of kinship and familial structure, the convergence and divergence between the idealised image and realities of family life, and the provision of care within families. These themes are interconnected, as the idea and image of family shapes familial structure, which in turn defines the type of care and protection that families provide to their members. The papers in this volume provide new research to challenge assumptions and provoke new ways of thinking about past families as functionally adaptive, socially connected, and ideologically powerful units of society, just as they are in the present. A broad focus on the networks created by familial units also allows the experiences of historically underrepresented women and children to be highlighted in a way that underlines their interconnectedness with all members of past societies. 

    The Family in Past Perspective builds a much-needed bridge across disciplinary boundaries. The wide scope of the book hmakes important contributions, and informs fields ranging from  bioarchaeology to women's history and childhood studies.

    Eileen M. Murphy

    1. Introduction
    Ellen J. Kendall and Ross Kendall

    Part I: Ties that bind: defining family structure and dynamics in the past

    2. Slavery, emancipation, and the construction of family on San Salvador, The Bahamas
    John D. Burton

    3. Alloparenting adolescents: evaluating the social and biological impacts of leprosy on young people in Saxo-Norman England (9th to 12th centuries AD) through cross-disciplinary models of care
    Kori L. Filipek, Charlotte Roberts, Rebecca L. Gowland, and Katie Tucker

    4. Blended or constructed families? Family, neighbourhood, and domestic space in early modern England
    Dominic Birch

    Part II: Between the ideal and the real: image, ideology, and the past family

    5. Rousseau and the imagery of the la mère éducatrice in late 18th century French art
    Suzanne Conway

    6. Mother-love in the time of malaria: the politics of internal colonisation, endemic disease, and parent-child relations in Britain
    Ellen J. Kendall and Ross Kendall

    7. Children in the attic: family, emotion, and material culture in a post-medieval liminal space
    Sally Crawford, Philip Salmon and Katharina Ulmschneider

    Part III: Relative needs: the provision of care and resources within familial units

    8. Poisoned pregnancies: consequences of prenatal lead exposure in relation to infant mortality in the Roman Empire
    Joanna Moore, Michelle Williams-Ward, Kori L. Filipek, Rebecca L. Gowland, and Janet Montgomery

    9. ‘Guarded treasures’: child health, care, and loss in urban families from the mid-18th to 19th century London
    Sophie Newman

    10. We’re all in this together: accessing the maternal-infant relationship in prehistoric Vietnam
    Alisha B. Adams, Siân E. Halcrow, Charlotte L. King, Melanie J. Miller, Melandri Vlok, Andrew R. Millard, Darren R. Gröcke, Hallie Buckley, Kate Domett, Hiep Hoang Trinh, Tran Thi Minh, and Marc F. Oxenham

    Siân E. Halcrow, Rebecca L. Gowland, and Emma Sudron


    Ellen J. Kendall is a postdoctoral researcher, with recent roles in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University and the EQUIPOL Research Group at the University of York. She serves as the Treasurer for the Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past (SSCIP).

    Ross Kendall is an experienced field archaeologist and human osteologist, with a PhD in Archaeology and Anthropology from Durham University. He is the editorial assistant for the journal Antiquity.