I have co-edited a book with Dr Jennifer Evans (University of Hertfordshire) on perceptions of pregnancy from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in January 2017. The collection is one of the outputs from the Perceptions of Pregnancy conference that we held in 2013.
This multi-disciplinary collection brings together work by scholars from Britain, America and Canada on the popular, personal and institutional histories of pregnancy. It follows the process of reproduction from conception and contraception, to birth and parenthood. The contributors explore several key themes: narratives of pregnancy and birth, the patient-consumer, and literary representations of childbearing. This book explores how these issues have been constructed, represented and experienced in a range of geographical locations from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. Crossing the boundary between the pre-modern and modern worlds, the chapters reveal the continuities, similarities and differences in understanding a process that is often, in the popular mind-set, considered to be fundamental and unchanging.
The book is available to pre-order from the Palgrave Macmillan website.