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Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Sandra Miesel

But Malthus did not believe in contraception or abortion!His "preventative check" was voluntary celibacy. (Post-Famine Ireland is a case of a whole society delaying marriage or refraining from marriage because it was so difficult to support a family then.)

In the 19th C, very, very Catholic Bavaria tried to inhibit the poor from reproducing by denying them marriage licenses. So they co-habited anyway and ran up the illegitimacy rate, followed by an infant mortality rate of 1 in 3 in some rural areas.

The foundling hospitals run by the Daughters of Charity in France had an infant death rate over 90%. Problems were not peculiar to English institutions.

Elise B.

Thank you for a very informative article. I have just started reading "Les tribulations de Sophie" by Gilson. I have never read anything by him before and I quite enjoy this little book.
A remark about the translation of words in brackets:
I would translate "au sein des espèces" as "within the species" and "nourrir" as "feed" (feed the poor).


The foundling hospitals run by the Daughters of Charity in France had an infant death rate over 90%.

Why was the mortality rate so high?

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