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Flesh and SpiritAn anthology of seventeenth-century women's writing$
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Rachel Adcock, Sara Read, and Anna Ziomek

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090233

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090233.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Elizabeth Clinton, Countess of Lincoln

Elizabeth Clinton, Countess of Lincoln

(p.105) 4 Elizabeth Clinton, Countess of Lincoln
Flesh and Spirit

Rachel Adcock

Sara Read

Anna Ziomek

Manchester University Press

This chapter comprises an introduction to Elizabeth Clinton, Countess of Lincoln (c.1574-c.1630) and seventeenth-century attitudes to breastfeeding, and the edited text of The Countesse of Lincolnes Nurserie (1622). In the early seventeenth century, it was fashionable for aristocratic families to employ a wet-nurse to breastfeed their children rather than for mothers to do this themselves, but there was a consensus among medical treatises that it was better for a child to be nursed by its own mother. Clinton expresses regret at not nursing her own babies and uses this text as a form of atonement, teaching younger women as the Bible instructs older women to do. She uses other examples from the Bible in order to support maternal nursing, and dedicates the work to her daughter-in-law, Bridget, Countess of Lincoln, who apparently nursed her own baby.

Keywords:   Breastfeeding, Nursing, Wet-nurse, Medicine, Women's writing, Bible, Motherhood

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