mortalité infantile dans Cycnos


Articles


Cycnos | Volume 23 n°2 | CIV.

More Deadly Than The Male1...? Mothers and Infanticide In Nineteenth Century Britain

Dans notre culture occidentale, le symbole de la vie est la mère ; cependant, à partir des années 1850 au Royaume-Uni, la société devint de plus et plus consciente du crime d’infanticide, commis soit par la mère naturelle soit par une mère de substitution. Le taux élevé de la mortalité infantile a amené la police à examiner de près les morts “inhabituelles”. Cet article propose une étude de l’infanticide, à travers les archives et la presse de la période, très riches en rapports de police et en procès. In Western culture, the symbol of life-giving is the mother, yet from the middle of the nineteenth century on, British society became more and more aware of the crime of infanticide, committed by the mother-figure, either in the form of the natural mother or that of a surrogate. The high rates of infant mortality led to investigations into infant deaths by “uncommon” means, committed both by the mother herself and by those engaged in the occupation of baby farming. This paper proposes to examine these causes of infant death, through a study of archives and the press of the period, which contained detailed police reports, transcripts of the many trials which took place in the second part of the nineteenth century, as well as editorials and articles on the subject.

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