Meanwhile Fablecroft Publications are on the cusp of releasing To Spin A Darker Stair. They are running a giveaway on Goodreads:
The children are e sacrificed in part out of murderous resentment and in part to ensure their parents survival … Even when a tale half-heartedly exonerates one or both parents of malice by implying that abandoning the children is the lesser of two evils, the children are left to fend for themselves because parents have been too incapacitated to provide. One way or another, the parents are to blame and begin to emerge at the least as monsters of negligence.
The stepmother will not be the self sacrificing, all giving mother of romanticised poverty; she has been reduced to her darkest instinctuality and she will abandon her children as a matter of survival; it is her life or theirs.
Children were abandoned throughout Europe from Hellenistic antiquity to the end of the middle ages in great numbers … Parents abandoned their offspring in desperation when they were unable to support them, due to poverty or disaster; in shame, when they were unwilling to keep them because of their physical condition or ancestry (e.g. illegitimate or incestuous); in self interest or the interest of another child, when inheritance or domestic resources would be compromised by another mouth; in hope, when they believed that someone of greater means or higher standing might find them and bring them up in better circumstances; in resignation, when a child was of unwelcome gender or ominous auspices; or in callousness, if they simply could not be bothered with parenthood.
In the 1690s, at the height of the worst demographic crisis in the seventeenth century – at a time when plague and famine decimated the population of Northern France … corpses were found with grass stuffed in their mouths and mothers “exposed” the infants they could not feed so they got sick and died.
The site is flash heavy and contains videos and interviews with experts. It’s well worth dipping into.
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