Accounting for Affection: Mothering and Politics in Early by C. Castiglione

By C. Castiglione

Accounting for Affection examines the multifaceted nature of early smooth motherhood by way of targeting the tips and methods of Roman aristocratic moms in the course of familial clash. Illuminating new techniques to the maternal and the familial hired through such girls, it demonstrates how interventions won expanding prefer in early glossy Rome.

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Anna juggled the inevitable dilemmas of the frequent childbearing practiced among the Roman aristocracy. In the early 1630s, Anna struggled actively to secure the survival of three children very close in age: Carlo (about three years old); Maffeo (about two years old); Lucrezia (about a year old or Practicing Motherhood 39 less). 56 Anna related her everyday mothering dilemmas to Taddeo, describing the children’s ordinary ailments, such as Maffeo’s teething difficulties and his fever, as well as the physical demise of Carlo’s wet nurse, whose ill health she described with emotion and as a divine punishment for Anna’s sins.

She attended to this latter task with the utmost seriousness and anxiety. ”32 Anna’s difficulties in her life with the Barberini are well known, better known than her successes. Her adversities have been traced to her marriage to the pope’s nephew, a union which supposedly doomed her to difficulty and betrayal. 1644–55). In fear for their lives, they fled for Paris, taking Anna’s children with them, but leaving Anna behind, against her wishes, without letting her know their plans, and without the financial means to sustain herself.

2 di Roma. Bernardino Cametti, Prefect Taddeo Barberini, 1704. Courtesy of Museo and included a far-flung set of relations linked through a venerable male ancestor. In Anna’s lifetime, the Barberini family had no fewer than three high-ranking clerics – Pope Urban VIII, Taddeo’s older brother Cardinal Francesco Barberini (1597–1679), and his younger brother Cardinal Antonio Barberini (1608–71). Most dear to Anna was the nameless unit of herself, the children, and Taddeo. 6 Anna’s concept of the family is best glimpsed in her correspondence with Taddeo, which reveals how she acknowledged the multifaceted dimensions of the dynastic, but still insisted upon the preeminence of an entity for which she had no specific name.

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