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Publisher's Summary

In Lost, medical historian Shannon Withycombe weaves together women’s personal writings and doctors’ publications from the 1820s through the 1910s to investigate the transformative changes in how Americans conceptualized pregnancy, understood miscarriage, and interpreted fetal tissue over the course of the 19th century. 

Withycombe’s pathbreaking research reveals how Americans construed, and continue to understand, miscarriage within a context of reproductive desires, expectations, and abilities. This is the first book to utilize women’s own writings about miscarriage to explore the individual understandings of pregnancy loss and the multiple social and medical forces that helped to shape those perceptions. What emerges from Withycombe’s work is unlike most medicalization narratives.

The book is published by Rutgers University Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

©2019 Shannon Withycombe (P)2020 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Highly recommended." (Choice)

"An important and timely book that will be of interest to historians of medicine and practitioners alike." (Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences)

"Adds an important new piece to the history of medicine and childbearing, and her book could be an excellent teaching tool..." (Bulletin of the History of Medicine) 

What listeners say about Lost

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  • Bel
  • 08-11-2020

Sensitive topic

Wow! What an absolutely fascinating book this is. I'll buy a copy for my niece, who is a midwife.
This book was thoroughly researched, shedding light on a topic, you even in this time and day don't hear a lot about.
It shows how women felt about, and dealt with, miscarriage in the 19th Century.
We (women) have come a long way since, but not enough. Doctors here (Germany) still have a firm grip on all things birth related, and you are discouraged when you want to give birth at home.
Although we profit from the advanced medical knowledge about pregnancies, I was horrified to hear how doctors got their knowledge.
Before listening to this book, I had never given any thought to what happened to the results of miscarriages -- now I know, and it makes me want to vomit. I am sorry for all the powerless women of the previous centuries, but as far as pregnancy and giving birth is concerned, we have to admit that we still don't have any power.
But I digress. This book should be mandatory reading for every midwife pupil, just so they know where they come from, and what they can expect to have to contend with if working in a clinic, and not as a free midwife.
The narration was absolutely perfect, Ginger White had a perfect pitch and pace for this -- in parts gruesome -- tale of a sensitive topic which concerns so many women the world over.
I'm impressed with the book, and saddened that women are still being judged for their feelings, and decisions.

This was 7.5 hours well spent -- although I couldn't listen to the book in one go, I had to take breaks from gnashing my teeth in anger, and from the horrors described -- which, at the time, were perfectly normal.
Read the book, or, even better, listen to it.

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  • Serenity's Kat
  • 27-10-2020

This book is fascinating

I literally couldn’t stop this book. It’s fascinating. There is so much to learn about how people of the past viewed pregnancy, miscarriage, and the female body.

1 person found this helpful

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