Thursday, 17 January 2013

I just found this image from a article written about 'Assistance Publique' in The Morvan. It's a couple taking in an child who they are being paid to raise. All the peasant farmer's wives were involved in this. The extra money was used to change the roofs from thatched to slate or buy extra land to keep cows. This picture was taken in the village just up from here, Glux En Glenne. Cottages here are tiny the lady who lived across the valley from us had a one bedroomed cottage and had a series of 14 children over the years. Looking after 2 at a time.


  1. Who were all these children Jane?
    Where did they come from?

  2. Mostly from Paris, illegitimate, results of incest, or out of wedlock etc. It carried on here through the C19th into 1920's. Obviously not everyone had the best time. But the guy who came here who slept in our now living room/kitchen had fond memories. He said there was lots to do, gathering of sticks, they made bread on the farm and kept livestock.

  3. What an interesting slice of history! Fascinating....I would love to learn more....seems like it could make a good book or film scenario. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. I have come across snippets of information and there is lots of information out there. There are books and a travelling exhibition I believe. It's good to get primary source material though.I will try and look into a bit more ,you are right it is fascinating. Apparently the practice of wet nursing and fostering continued well until the 80's and 90's. It is my understanding that this practice became legitimised rather than just a matter of dropping a child off at a farm.