chapter
6 Pages

Conclusion

WithAngus McLaren

This concluding chapter of the book presents some key concepts discussed in the book, examines the variety of forms reproductive regulation might take. The book's outline of the range of controls is necessarily impressionistic, but it reveals the variety of options open to couples in early modern England. In looking closely at the issue of reproductive control, the book uncovers many of the attitudes, experiences and values of a culture that would otherwise have remained obscure. The conceiving and bearing of children is one of the most fascinating experiences in which we can ever become involved. Every society attempts by its own particular means and for its own particular purposes to control the process, and in so doing reveals key concerns and convictions. The earlier generations were neither automata nor simply ignorant, abject victims of biological forces. Although childbearing was painful and fraught with danger, it did not mean that couples when confronted by it were paralysed by fear.