Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Girl in a Blue Dress

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Girl in a Blue Dress

A Novel Inspired by the Life and Marriage of Charles Dickens

by Gaynor Arnold

Girl in a Blue Dress
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2009, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2010, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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Beyond the Book

Birth Control and Childbirth in the 19th Century
Speaking of fathers, Dorothea Gibson’s 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 ...

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