Fosterage in Medieval Ireland
Title
Fosterage in Medieval Ireland
Subtitle
An Emotional History
Price
€ 99,00
ISBN
9789462989412
Format
Hardback
Number of pages
242
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Table of Contents
Show Table of ContentsHide Table of Contents
Abbreviations
Acknowledgements
Introduction
-What is fosterage?
-An Emotional History of Fosterage
-Methodological Approach
-The Chapters
Chapter 1. Cú Chulainn and Expressions of Foster Fatherhood
-Conchobur and the role of the maternal uncle
-The Language of Fosterage
-Multiple fosterage and emotions
-Foster fatherhood beyond infancy
-How many foster fathers is too many foster fathers?
Chapter 2. Who Makes a Foster Sibling?
-Cú Chulainn, Conall Cernach and Finnchóem
-The Fosterage in Alba
-Fer Diad, Death and How to Mourn
-Foster brotherhood: A lost idyll
Chapter 3. Identity Within Fosterage
-Holy Brother, Foster Brother
-Fosterage and Social Standing
-Fíanna: Where Everyone is a Foster sibling?
-Creating foster identity
Chapter 4. Fosterage in the Medieval Irish Church
-Ísucán
-The Christ Child Elsewhere in Middle Irish
-Miraculous Fosterage in Saints' Lives
-Monastic Fosterage and Oblation
-Divine Metaphor and Mortal Practice
Chapter 5. Animal Fosterage: A bestial parallel?
-St Ailbe and Cormac mac Airt
-Children Gone to the Dogs
-Relationships Beyond Suckling
-A Permeable Boundary Between Human and Animal
-Becoming Human
-Through an Animal Darkly
Conclusion
-Drawing the Chapters Together
-Revisiting the Methodology
Bibliography
-Manuscript Sources
-Primary Sources
-Secondary Sources
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Reviews and Features

"With Fosterage in Medieval Ireland: An Emotional History, Thomas O’Donnell has written the first book-length work on fosterage in the Middle Ages. This is an accomplishment to be celebrated. [...] O’Donnell’s work is groundbreaking and will be the study to reference when thinking about fosterage in the near future."
- Lahney Preston-Matto, Adelphi University, Journal of British Studies, June 2021

Thomas O'Donnell

Fosterage in Medieval Ireland

An Emotional History

Fosterage was a central feature of medieval Irish society, yet the widespread practice of sending children to another family to be cared for until they reached adulthood is a surprisingly neglected topic. Where it has been discussed, fosterage is usually conceptualised and treated as a purely legal institution. This work seeks to outline the emotional impact of growing up within another family. What emerges is a complex picture of deeply felt emotional ties binding the foster family together. These emotions are unique to the social practice of fosterage, and we see the language and feelings originating within the foster family being used to describe other relationships such as those in the monastery or between humans and animals. This book argues that the more we understand how people felt in fosterage, the more we understand medieval Ireland.
Author

Thomas O'Donnell

Dr Thomas C. O'Donnell is an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London.