Barbara A. Hanawalt's Growing Up In Medieval London

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Barbara A. Hanawalt, the author of the book Growing Up In Medieval London: The Experience of Childhood in History, is a specialist in English medieval social history. She has published extensively in various scholarly journals and has produced multiple books dealing with English medieval social history. As a specialist in her field, she was disturbed to see that incorrect beliefs about childhood in the middle ages were still prominent in the study of history and childhood. Most of these incorrect beliefs were based off of ideas of Philippe Aries and his theory in the nonexistence of childhood and adolescence in the Middle Ages. Even though Aries and his work have been highly and consistently criticized by other historians throughout the years,…show more content…
To help bring life to some of the evidence, Hanawalt recreates particular lives of some of the children mentioned throughout her book. In chapter 9, apprentice Walter Prata is one of the children brought back to life in Hanawalt’s work to tell the story of an unruly apprentice while in chapter 10 it is Thomasine Bonaventure’s whose story is used to tell us about the not so innocent nature of some servant contracts. These are just some of the narratives that Hanawalt provides that help draw in and keep her audience interested in reading more about childhood in Medieval…show more content…
This can be due to multiple factors such as sources not being properly maintained, managed by only one group of people, or sources being damaged and/or lost overtime. The lack of surviving evidence can skew our understanding of this time period since we are not getting the entire picture. Naturally, we have to be careful of taking what is written as being 100% accurate because of the fact that there is limited evidence to back up some of the claims that Prof. Hanawalt makes. For example, in chapter 4, Hanawalt mentions that wardship cases found in archival records showed that girls were less likely to survive childhood than boys. She goes on to mention that more resources and care were provided to male children than female children because of the fact that males had a higher social value. However, when I went to the back of the book to look at the footnote for this point all I found was Hanawalt discussing the problem with female mortality and the possibility that women were being underreported with no real evidence being referenced except for the wardship records. In another instance This is where some of the points mentioned in the book can be a bit iffy and as a result some of the chapters are more reliable than others. Another instance, where sources fell short, can be seen again in the same chapter when it comes to wet nurses. Hanawalt knows that nursing arrangements were made back in

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