Back in May, BECC and our colleagues at Warwick’s Early Modern and Eighteenth-Century Centre held a workshop for graduate students under the title, “The Magical Source: Light-bulb Moments in Historical Research.” Four historians each presented a source that had reshaped their thinking, and explained how that process took place. This week, we’ll share the written … Continue reading “Magical Source: Mary Toft’s Confessions”
Reading Giving Birth in Eighteenth-Century England is a rich immersive, sensory, and visceral experience. Sarah Fox’s rigorously-researched exploration of the physicality, materiality, and communities involved in the processes and emotions surrounding late pregnancy, childbirth, and lying-in is a model of how to approach the history of embodiment and the work of birthing.
In Giving Birth in Eighteenth-Century England, Sarah Fox shrewdly and eloquently argues that in the eighteenth century ‘birthing was a process – a series of linked and flexible stages – rather than an event’ (p.7). This statement directly challenges much of the historiography that has come before it: histories of birth and birthing have traditionally … Continue reading “Giving Birth in Eighteenth-Century England: Amber Vella’s Review”
Giving Birth in Eighteenth-Century England is the first book in a generation to re-examine the birthing process of women in the long-eighteenth century. It fundamentally revises our historical appreciation of the complexities of how to give birth, all those involved, and the physical dimensions that women experienced from the final stages of pregnancy through to … Continue reading “Giving Birth in Eighteenth-Century England: Elizabeth Hurren’s Review”
Sarah Fox has been part of the BECC community, as a postdoctoral research fellow on the Social Bodies project, since 2021. Her first book, Giving Birth in Eighteenth-Century England, came out this April with the University of London Press. We’ll be sharing a series of reviews over the rest of the week, to celebrate the … Continue reading “Giving Birth as a Social Event: Interview with Sarah Fox”