(Oxford Brookes University)
"Confined for their own Good"
This paper examines the relationship between space, confinement and childcare in eighteenth-century parishes. It asks whether children were thought to be better off with their parents in the workhouse, or in the countryside which was perceived to be healthier, but which brought separation from their families.
Alysa Levene is Principal Lecturer in Early Modern History and Acting Head of History and History of Art at Oxford Brookes University, which she joined in April 2004. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in August 2002, and also worked a research officer at the University of Bath before moving to Brookes.
Her research focuses on the health and welfare of poor children in early modern Europe. My monograph, Childcare, health and mortality at the London Foundling Hospital, 1741-1800: ‘Left to the mercy of the world’: ’ (Manchester University Press, 2007) is an examination of the survival prospects and rearing of infants abandoned to an institution in eighteenth-century London.
Alysa Levene is currently working on a book analysing the childhood of the poor in eighteenth-century London, and her interests cover wet-nursing, medicine and hospital care, workhouses, the structure of poor families, and the way that children were treated by charity and poor law officials.She hasalso published on the mortality implications of poverty and illegitimacy among poor infants in London, on pauper apprenticeship, and on the history of poverty in the eighteenth century.
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