Dr. Peter Marshall
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Dr. Peter Marshall has examined the terrors of teenagers and the stresses of stepfamilies, and now he turns his attention to a time when parenting choices meant the difference between heaven and hell.


Two Jobs, No Life
Now I Know Why Tigers Eat Their Young
Sex, Nursery  Rhymes and Other Evils
Cinderella Revisited
Published Articles Books By The Author Dr. Peter Marshall


Sex, Nursery Rhymes and Other Evils:
A Look at the Bizarre, Amusing, Sometimes Shocking Advice of Victorian Childcare Experts

Dr. Marshall's third book recounts unusual, strange and sometimes downright dangerous advice that childcare 'experts' gave to parents in Victorian times. Moral dangers were attributed to bicycle riding. In some circumstances, learning nursery rhymes was considered evil. While these admonitions and others seem humourous by today's standards, there is a sinister side to this issue. At times, parenting advice threatened children’s health, if not their lives. In other cases, experts' guidance spoke to motives far removed from child welfare: economic gain, political power, and the suppression of women were the cultural subtexts that informed experts' thinking.

An interesting and enlightening review of parenting literature, Sex, Nursery Rhymes and Other Evils is also a cautionary tale for our times. In the final section, Dr. Marshall addresses the modern-day interest in child care and parenting as a 'profession:' How much has changed since Victorian times? Is professional advice to be trusted or is it based more on personal bias and untested assumption than it is on fact? How expert are the experts?

Dr. Marshall concludes that there should be greater responsibility and accountability among those who have the opportunity to offer advice. Above all, experts must strive to be their own toughest critics - and parents, in considering professional advice, should trust their common sense and their own best judgement.


 



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