- Cultural Reformations
- List of Illustrations
- List of Abbreviations
- List of Contributors
- National Histories
- Literary Histories
- Enclosed Spaces
- The Eucharist
- The Saints
- Vernacular Theology
- When English Became Latin
- Heresy and Treason
- Naughty Printed Books
- Utopian Pleasure
- Poetic Fame
- London Books and London Readers
- The Reformation of the Household
- Active and Contemplative Lives
- Autobiography and the History of Reading
Abstract and Keywords
During the latter part of Henry VIII’s reign, humanism became entrenched, England broke with Rome, and monasteries disappeared. More subtle changes occurred in other, quite different, parts of the cultural landscape, including the discourse of childbirth. This article examines, in the light of vernacular versions of the Trotula (the standard authority on childbirth during the medieval period), two editions of an English gynecological handbook, The Byrth of Mankynde, published in 1540 and 1545, and also their immediate source, the Roszgarten, composed by Eucharius Rösslin and translated into Latin as De Partu Hominis. It argues that, at some point between the two editions of the English text, there had been a reorientation of the place of women in the discourse of childbirth: the new edition significantly ‘empowers’ women.
Alexander Barratt, University of Waikato, New Zealand
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