Family Planning and the Long Eighteenth-Century Pocketbook

Williams, Helen (2023) Family Planning and the Long Eighteenth-Century Pocketbook. Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies, 46 (1). pp. 113-133. ISSN 1754-0208

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Eighteenth-century medical literature recommended that women record their menstrual cycles to identify dates of conception, measure gestation, and predict delivery. Women's pocketbooks were natural repositories of such pregnancy-related data. This article charts the history of women's pocketbooks providing printed affordances for menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth. Throughout the eighteenth century, women's printed pocketbooks were self-conscious of, and began to make more obvious, their potential to assist the safe delivery of children. The first mass-produced tool for predicting childbirth, Anton F.A. Desberger's Schwangerschaftskalender (1827), translated into English as the Marriage Almanack in 1835, presupposed a female readership familiar with women's pocketbooks' self-conscious capacity to assist family planning.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: Leverhulme Trust. Grant Number: RPG-2018-262
Uncontrolled Keywords: family planning, reproduction, menstruation, pregnancy, pocketbooks, almanacs, ephemerides, medicine, diaries, women
Subjects: V200 History by area
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2022 12:32
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2023 16:45

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