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Mary Wollstonecraft is dead

March 31, 2010

My book is the story of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter, Mary Shelley — I have to keep reminding myself of this as I have been so in love with MW that I have not wanted to turn to MS. But it is time now. I spent yesterday on the last eleven days of MW’s life. So sad. She died of childbed fever. For the first three days after little Mary was born, they thought she was fine. The baby was healthy. MW was happy. Godwin (her husband) was happy. And then on the fourth day, she got such a high fever that she started shaking. The whole house shook. The doctor was worried her milk would poison the baby so she had to stop nursing little Mary and, according to late 18th century custom, they put puppies on her breasts instead. At least I guess this was the custom. I have never heard of puppies nursing anywhere else. But none of the other biographers say this was strange. They mention it (them) in a completely matter of fact way. So, will I — I guess. Or else I will find myself writing pages on odd nursing customs of the 18th century that no one but me will be interested in.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 14, 2010 1:59 pm

    But this is unbelievable! Please write about it for pages and pages. We will be interested.

    I have seen a dog nursing a cat, in Africa.

    And it brings to mind the recent discovery that homo sapiens and Neanderthals were having sex. Hmmm.

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