“Aeons of Wrong”: Mothers in Prehistory and History

  • Ann Taylor Allen

Abstract

Ibsen’s heroine, Nora, aspired to emerge from her sheltered “doll’s house” and to become an autonomous human being as well as a wife and mother. But was such a thing possible? Scholars looked to the past for answers to this question often with dismal results, for history and prehistory seemed to show that woman’s subordination was universal throughout time and space. “Aeons of wrong, ere history was born,” wrote the British reformer Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy,

With added ages passed in slight and scorn, Maintained the chains of primal womanhood, And clogged in turn man’s power of greater good.1

Keywords

Clay Europe Amid Tuberculosis Morphine 

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Notes

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© Ann Taylor Allen 2005

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