This book has shown that hundreds of unmarried mothers in eighteenth-century London were neither abandoned and alone nor ostracised and infanticidal. London at this time was the site of spectacular economic, social and cultural change, which had volatile effects on the experience and meanings of lone motherhood. When men, money, resources and employment let women down, instead of rejecting unmarried mothers, the parish, metropolitan charities, family, friends, employers and acquaintances helped many through their pregnancies and beyond. The improvised communities of London, regenerated every day with migrants from all across the country and abroad, rarely distinguished between married and unmarried mothers. People demonstrated remarkable empathy and compassion towards these women and their children.
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