Saturday, January 21, 2017

Women's Health in Nineteenth Century

The Jstor blog has a piece on de facto first ladies.  What's telling is that the list ends in 1915, with Woodrow Wilson's daughter (his wife died and there was a (short) time before he remarried).  There are 13 daughters, daughters-in-law, and nieces listed for the 19th century, but only one for a bachelor (Buchanan).  (The list does omit Anna Roosevelt, who often acted for FDR because her mother was out doing good works.)  That factoid shows two things:
  • life was hard for 19th century women
  • life, particularly because of public health improvements, was better for 20th century women.

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