By C. Ipsen
Detailing the advance of a brand new Western angle to young ones and their position in society, this ebook tells the tale of Italy's forgotten youngsters on the finish of the 19th century - foundlings, road kids, manufacturing facility and mine employees, emigrants and delinquents - and illustrates the efforts of the lately unified Italian kingdom to assist them.
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Extra info for Italy in the Age of Pinocchio: Children and Danger in the Liberal Era (Italian & Italian American Studies)
Moreover, Milan, along with a few other provinces, had gone a step further and introduced maternity searches as well. 76 The intent was to detect hereditary diseases 38 ITALY IN THE AGE OF PINOCCHIO (especially syphilis), instances of foundlings coming from other provinces, and the abandonment of legitimate children. The women sought out and examined were also encouraged to legally recognize and take back their children and so receive the filiation subsidy; as a result the filiation rate increased from 4 to 34 percent.
55 And there was plenty of evidence of high foundling mortality in places as widely spread as Palermo, Messina, Avellino, Rome, Padua, Sondrio, and Piacenza. 56 None of these situations, however, inspired the sort of reaction that met the Annunziata figures reported in 1897. By that time Italian public opinion had apparently become more sensitive to the fate of the nation’s marginalized children. Throughout the period leading up to the Foundling Home Investigation, foundling care in Italy had escaped the centralizing tendency of the unified state.
35 Foundling homes seem to have been an Italian invention of the premodern era. They were created to provide an alternative to, and so prevent, abortion, infanticide, and the ABANDONED CHILDREN 25 abandonment of infants in public places. The central feature of these homes was their ruota or turning cradle into which infants could be deposited anonymously. Anonymity was a central feature of the system. It allowed unwed mothers in particular to unburden themselves of the fruits of their sin in a way that best preserved both the honor of the woman and her family and the mother’s chances for salvation.