Contraception and Abortion in Nineteenth-Century America: A Critical Edition of the Symphonia Armonie Celestium Revelationum (Symphony of the Harmon


Product Details

Cornell University Press
Publish Date
6.14 X 9.21 X 0.88 inches | 1.59 pounds

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About the Author

Janet Farrell Brodie teaches history at Claremont Graduate School and is Program Coordinator at the Claremont Graduate Humanities Center.


"Brodie describes the information on abortion and contraception that was publicly available during the last century so clearly and documents it so well that her work should become a basic reference.... The final chapter deals with the criminalization, primarily by means of the notorious Comstock laws, of contraception and abortion information and devices during the last quarter of the nineteenth century."

-- "Booklist"

"Brodie has broken important new ground and given provocative, convincing depictions of contraceptive techniques and knowledge."

-- "American Historical Review"

"In addition to describing changes in contraceptive methods, the author intriguingly attempts to trace the diffusion of knowledge and attitudes concerning sexuality and gender relationships."

-- "Library Journal"

"Those who imagine that birth-control techniques were the brain child of Margaret Sanger will be staggered by the vast array of methods and contraptions that Brodie has unearthed from medical journals, private papers, and, of special note to other researchers, business records."

-- "Bulletin of the History of Medicine"

"Brodie argues mid-nineteenth-century women and men, rural and urban, working-class and middle-class, had access to a wealth of information about a variety of contraceptive methods. With scrupulous attention to detail, she analyzes the practices she believes were most widely used.... One of Brodie's many achievements is to denaturalize our sense of reproductive control by setting it firmly in historical context. Her insights into nineteenth-century meanings of contraception and abortion, however, are not without significance for current struggles."

-- "Women's Review of Books"