Dangerous Motherhood

Insanity and Childbirth in Victorian Britain

  • Hilary¬†Marland

About this book


Dangerous Motherhood is the first study of the close and complex relationship between mental disorder and childbirth. Exploring the relationship between women, their families and their doctors reveals how explanations for the onset of puerperal insanity were drawn from a broad set of moral, social and environmental frameworks, rather than being bound to ideas that women as a whole were likely to be vulnerable to mental illness. The horror of this devastating disorder which upturned the household, turned gentle mothers into disruptive and dangerous mad women, was magnified by it occurring at a time when it was anticipated that women would be most happy in the fulfillment of their role as mothers.


bibliography Britain environment Great Britain knowledge morality nation time Victorian era women

Authors and affiliations

  • Hilary¬†Marland
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for the History of Medicine Department of HistoryUniversity of WarwickUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-51463-2
  • Online ISBN 978-0-230-51186-6
  • Buy this book on publisher's site