A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 - Study Guide August 1787 Summary & Analysis

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Midwife's Tale.
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During the summer of 1787, an epidemic of scarlet fever ran rampant through the little town of Hallowell where Martha lived. During this same time, her husband's mill burned down, and she experienced the first death of a mother and child within four days of birth. There were five deaths due to scarlet fever that year, although Martha was kept busy tending to most of the children of Hallowell who had the illness. In the 18th Century, her tallying of deaths and births proved Hallowell to be a healthy place. The death rate between 1785 and 1790 was approximately 15 deaths per 1000 inhabitants and there were four births to every death.

Midwives have long been feared by authority and loved by women. However, during Martha Ballard's time, midwifery was a common profession for a woman. Some places even gave the midwife free land or stipends. Martha charge six shillings for every...

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This section contains 551 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 Study Guide
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