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The Kindness of Strangers: The Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance
by John Boswell
University of Chicago Press, 1998
Paper: 978-0-226-06712-4
Library of Congress Classification HV887.E8B67 1998
Dewey Decimal Classification 362.73094

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
In The Kindness of Strangers, John Boswell argues persuasively that child abandonment was a common and morally acceptable practice from antiquity until the Renaissance. Using a wide variety of sources, including drama and mythological-literary texts as well as demographics, Boswell examines the evidence that parents of all classes gave up unwanted children, "exposing" them in public places, donating them to the church, or delivering them in later centuries to foundling hospitals. The Kindness of Strangers presents a startling history of the abandoned child that helps to illustrate the changing meaning of family.

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