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A Global History of Child Death

Mortality, Burial, and Parental Attitudes

Amy J. Catalano

Drawing from primary research studies in archaeology, historical analysis, literature, and art this interdisciplinary look at the history of child funerary practices and other vehicles of parental mourning is the only book of its kind. The purpose of this work is to investigate the ways in which funerary behaviors and grieving differ between cultures and across time; from prehistory to modern history. Philippe Aries, the French childhood historian, argued that children were rarely mourned upon their deaths as child death was a frequent and expected event, especially in the Middle Ages. This book draws upon archaeological reports, secondary data analysis, and analysis of literature, photography and artwork to refute, and in some cases support, Aries’s claim. Organized in two parts, Part One begins with a chapter on the causes of childhood mortality and the steps taken to prevent it, followed by chapters on prehistory, ancient civilizations, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and the early modern and late modern eras. The chapters in Part Two discuss indicators of parental concern at a child’s death: naming practices, replacement strategy, baptism, consolation literature, and artwork. Students who focus on the psychological aspects of death, funeral practices, and childhood histories will find this book a useful and comprehensive tool for examining how children have been mourned since prehistory.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataCatalano, Amy J.A global history of child death: mortality, burial, and parental attitudes / Amy J. Catalano.pages cmIncludes bibliographical references and index.1. Children—Mortality—History. 2. Children—Death—History.3. Burial—History. 4. Mourning customs—History. I. Title.HB1323.C5C37  304.6’4083—dc23  2014014814ISBN 978-1-4331-2742-7 (hardcover)ISBN 978-1-4539-1361-1 (e-book)Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.

Cover image: Joshua Reynolds, Sketch of PuttoHolding a Sash in Both Hands, Seen from Below© 2015 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006www.peterlang.comAll rights reserved.Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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