Letters on the Management of Infants

By Mary Wollstonecraft

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Revolt Library Feminism Letters on the Management of Infants

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(1759 - 1797)

Grandmother of Modern, Western Feminism

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women's rights. Until the late 20th century, Wollstonecraft's life, which encompassed several unconventional personal relationships at the time, received more attention than her writing. Today Wollstonecraft is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and her works as important influences. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman , in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason. After Wollstonecraft's death, her widower published a Memoir of her life, revealin... (From: Wikipedia.org / Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosoph....)


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Letters on the Management of Infants

  • Introductory Letter.
  • Letter II. Management of the Mother during pregnancy: bathing.
  • Letter III. Lying-in.
  • Letter IV. The first month: diet: clothing.
  • Letter V. The three following months.
  • Letter VI. The remainder of the first year.
  • Letter VII. The second year, &c: conclusion.

LETTER I

I ought to apologize for not having written to you on the subject you mentioned; but, to tell you the truth, it grew upon me: and, instead of an answer, I have begun a series of letters on the management of children in their infancy. Replying then to your question, I have the public in my thoughts, and shall endeavor to show what modes appear to me necessary, to render the infancy of children more healthy and happy. I have long thought, that the cause which renders children as hard to rear as the most fragile plant, is our deviation from simplicity. I know that some able physicians have recommended the method I have pursued, and I mean to point out the good effects I have observed in practice. I am aware that many matrons will exclaim against me, and dwell on the number of children they have brought up, as their mothers did before them, without troubling themselves with new-fangled notions; yet, though, in my uncle Toby's words, they should attempt to silence me, by "wishing I had seen their large" families, I must suppose, while a third part of the human species, according to the most accurate calculation, die during their infancy, just at the threshold of life, that there is some error in the modes adopted by mothers and nurses, which counteracts their own endeavors. I may be mistaken in some particulars; for general rules, founded on the soundest reason, demand individual modification; but, if I can persuade any of the rising generation to exercise their reason on this head, I am content. My advice will probably be found most useful to mothers in the middle class; and it is from them that the lower imperceptibly gains improvement. Custom, produced by reason in one, may safely be the effect of imitation in the other.

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From : Gutenberg.org

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March 19, 2022; 5:23:20 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
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