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Old Jan 18 2011, 02:08 PM   #27

Kath's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oop North

Fan of: Moreta
Default Re: Exploring the Subtextual - Robinton/Menolly in the DRoP series

Originally Posted by Eriflor View Post
When Petiron and Merelan went to Pierie Hold for that 6-month posting (MHoP Chapter 1), Merelan used some kind of contraceptive 'potion' (mentioned on last page of chapter).
Aha! That's worth checking, I guess - though I do see that rather as Anne catering to the expectations of a modern audience than a genuinely plausible bit of canon, for reasons below.

The holders tended to want large families to help work the land so that they didn't have to hire outsiders, and also to claim more land. Since presumably the contraceptive potion was something they'd have to buy, they probably use it to space out the births rather than prevent them altogether. That's assuming it was a widely-known remedy --- Petiron was apparently abstaining from 'what he might not have' before they went to Pierie. Maybe it was made from a rare herb and cost too much for most people.
Although, as a society they DON'T need a functional contracpetive - infant mortality, maternal mortality and no alternative to breastfeeding will all space out living over-fives in the average family very well. Sucks to be a woman in that scenario, but hey, at least there'll be enough warm bodies to till the fields...

Plus, with between being readily available for the powerful sections of society, there's no drive to develop any alternative contraception/abortifacients.
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