This episode deals with the real and harrow position for women during with contraception, pregnancy, and abortion in the Victorian era. Campaigners like Annie Besant attacked the patriarchy, and fought for the right to be heard. Women risked their lives getting dangerous abortions, in constant fear of the law, whilst the great scandal of the Victorian era, infanticide, loomed in the background. From the courts to the back alleys, join me in experiencing the reality of life before the pill. 

This episode covers. 

Intro & reviews.

Musings on the direction of the podcast

The basics of periods

What the doctor though – 1840s style.

Women’s underwear and period pain.

Menstrual leave, a feminist issue.

Ovulation and fertility.

Birth control.

Annie Besant goes on the warpath.

Mortality and unstable families.

Victorian Birth Control

Abortion and the criminal law

Religion and gender.

Abortion in practice.

Abortion – a personal account by Mary Wolfe

Murder charges

When things went wrong.

Illegitimacy as a motivation.

Infanticide, the great scandal.

The crime of concealment of birth.

Criminals preying on the vulnerable.

A tough lot.

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