Birth Control and Childbirth in the 19th Century
Speaking of fathers, Dorothea Gibsons daughter-in-law says, "They do not become dissolved into parenthood the way we [women] do." Truer words may never have been spoken at least as far as the 19th Century was concerned.
Dissolved? Dorothea (Dodo) Gibson floundered under the toll of eight closely spaced children plus several miscarriages combined with the debilitating effects of near-continuous pregnancies. It seems safe to say the sum very nearly took her life. It certainly took her health and sanity even while her husband - tired of all the runny noses and hubbub - suggested indifferently that she "do something" about the situation. Certainly he was not alone in his time and gender to deem contraception as the sole responsibility of the woman. However, Dodo felt, as a genteel woman of certain class, that she had nowhere to turn for birth control advice.
Indeed, had she even found a confidante, she would have learnt ...