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Women beware midwives

Tom Shippey, 10 May 1990

The Medieval Woman 
by Edith Ennan, translated by Edmund Jephcott.
Blackwell, 327 pp., £32.50, November 1989, 9780631161660
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Not of woman born: Representations of Caesarean Birth in Medieval and Renaissance Culture 
by Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski.
Cornell, 204 pp., $27.95, March 1990, 0 8014 2292 2
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Childhood in the Middle Ages 
by Shulamith Shahar.
Routledge, 342 pp., £35, May 1990, 0 415 02624 5
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Lovesickness in the Middle Ages: The Viaticum and its Commentaries 
by Mary Wack.
Pennsylvania, 354 pp., $39.95, February 1990, 9780812281422
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Barbarolexis: Medieval Writing and Sexuality 
by Alexandre Leupin, translated by Kate Cooper.
Harvard, 261 pp., £27.95, July 1990, 0 674 06170 5
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... adult status: in essence, he argues, the Middle Ages had no separate conception of childhood. Shulamith Shahar challenges this thesis in Childhood in the Middle Ages, and has little difficulty in scoring a solid refutation. There is no doubt about the demographic conditions: between 1330 and 1479 over 30 per cent of children in English ducal families ...

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