[Sca-cooks] period childhood safety
Stefan li Rous
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Thu Aug 14 00:03:07 PDT 2008
<<< People tend to forget that the idea of 'child safe-ing' your home
relatively new concept. Prior to the idea that children must have an
laboratory type environment in which to keep them safe, 'child safe-
called 'discipline' and 'parenting'. So, I guess I'm "mean Celia" as
because I would agree that aversion training is much better than a dead
But medieval parents *did* try to child safe their homes. It was
often difficult and as you descended down the social scale it got
more difficult, in part because mom might be the sole head of the
household or even if she wasn't, she might have her own job or
household chores to do.
For those interested in finding out more about period childhood and
raising of children and how it varied across classes, I would
recommend some of the books by Hanawalt, Barbara A.. In particular I
would recommend this one:
The Ties That Bound: Peasant Families in Medieval England
Hanawalt, Barbara A.
Oxford University Press
In particular she uses 3000 coroner's reports which gives an idea of
what dangers children faced while growing up, often in the home. And
since these are *coroner's* reports, sometimes the child proofing/
discipline didn't succeed.
Some of the description:
Using a wealth of 14th century sources, including over 3000 coroners'
reports, this is both a detailed account of everyday life in the
Middle Ages, and an historical study of the medieval family unit - a
unit which has survived, largely unchanged, to the present day.
Barbara A. Hanawalt's richly detailed account offers an intimate view
of everyday life in Medieval England that seems at once surprisingly
familiar and yet at odds with what many experts have told us. She
argues that the biological needs served by the family do not change
and that the ways fourteenth- and fifteenth-century peasants coped
with such problems as providing for the newborn and the aged,
controlling premarital sex, and alleviating the harshness of their
material environment in many ways correspond with our twentieth-
Using a remarkable array of sources, including over 3,000 coroners'
inquests into accidental deaths, Hanawalt emphasizes the continuity
of the nuclear family from the middle ages into the modern period by
exploring the reasons that families served as the basic unit of
society and the economy. Providing such fascinating details as a
citation of an incantation against rats, evidence of the hierarchy of
bread consumption, and descriptions of the games people played, her
study illustrates the flexibility of the family and its capacity to
adapt to radical changes in society. She notes that even the terrible
population reduction that resulted from the Black Death did not
substantially alter the basic nature of the family.
THLord Stefan li Rous Barony of Bryn Gwlad Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mark S. Harris Austin, Texas
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at: http://www.florilegium.org ****
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