Punch,  33 (1857), 10.

Hen Cuckoos



Essay, Drollery


Animal Behaviour, Ornithology, Human Development, Analogy, Health, Domestic Economy

    Explains that while 'Useful lessons' can be learned from 'inferior creatures', the cuckoo sets a poor example of child-rearing, which is copied by 'ladies who put their children out to wet-nurse'. Discusses a 'monthly paper' presented to the London Society for the Protection of Young Females which attacks wet-nursing as a great 'social evil'. Assesses the advantages and disadvantages of hiring mothers who have lost their babies while working as wet-nurses, noting that such wet-nurses starve infants as 'the young hedge-sparrow is thrown over'. Thinks ladies should nurse their own babies in case wet-nurses, like cuckoos, administer nutriments to infants which may contain 'immoral and morbid peculiarities'.

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