Journal of Medical Humanities 41 (2):179-192 (2020)

Abstract
This article considers how seventeenth-century writer John Milton engages in modes of thinking that register the obstetric revolution occurring during the period. During a time when physicians were gaining entry to the birthing room, a medical rhetoric of childbirth was developing that cast childbirth in new pathological terms. Milton's A Masque Presented at Ludlow Castle demonstrates how childbirth was influenced by emerging obstetrical language and practice, as well as the ways in which a writer might question such influence. Finally, this article also draws links between disrupted historical rituals of childbirth and modern anxieties about medically-centred birthing practices.
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DOI 10.1007/s10912-017-9497-6
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