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Pregnancy and Childbirth in Late Medieval England

  • 24/05/2022
  • 18:00-19:30
  • Online talk

Pregnancy and Childbirth in Late Medieval England: Medicine, Magic, and Miracles

Online talk by Claire Collins (University of Reading)

Tuesday 24 May 2022, 18:00-19:30

Claire Collins discusses some of the treatments, practices, and attitudes surrounding pregnancy and childbirth in late medieval England

In late medieval England, treatments for complications of childbirth, and protections against them, were varied. The use of herbs, stones, charms, prayers, and practical interventions might be seen today to fall under distinct categories of medicine, magic, and religion, but the boundary between these categories was not so clear. Furthermore, pregnancy was not understood solely as a medical condition; it was also a spiritual, emotional, political, and social state. Evidence for the reality of pregnancy and childbirth is strangely elusive in the medieval sources, but examination of a range of texts such as medical treatises, private letters, romances, and pastoral literature, reveals new findings. Sharing material from a selection of Middle English sources, and taking a holistic approach, Claire will present new insights into this aspect of medieval life.

Content warning: please be advised that this talk will include references to pregnancy loss, traumatic birth, and maternal death.

Tickets £5.00 (£3.00 for Folklore Society members with Promo Code: log in to the Members area to get the Promo Code) from Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pregnancy-and-childbirth-in-late-medieval-england-tickets-323322475227

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