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Born to Procreate

Women and Childbirth in France from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century


Rolande Graves

Since we have just entered the second millennium, it seems fitting to survey the events of the past as they pertain to women’s issues. At a time when religious leaders were apprehensively awaiting the arrival of the first millennium, they were also busy setting the fundamental moral and social boundaries of medieval society. Salvation and eternal life were the ever-present goal of the living. Women, as weak and sinful creatures, were obliged to accept the domination and rules of their male family members and political, social, or religious leaders. It is within this climate that the many roles of women are examined and described: as caretakers of home, children, gardens, and animals; as weavers and makers of clothes; as home-health providers; and especially, as procreators. Scientific understanding and progress in the field of obstetrics is followed through the centuries. This easy-to-read book will be of interest to anyone curious about the past.