Making Babies in the 17th Century

Making babies was a mysterious process for people in early modern England. Their ideas about conception, pregnancy, and childbirth tell us much about their attitudes towards gender and power at that time.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor Mary Fissell. She has been delving into a wealth of popular sources - ballads, jokes, witchcraft pamphlets, Prayer Books and popular medical manuals - to produce the first account of how women's reproductive bodies were understood in the 17th century.


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