If you’ve read The Gilded Hour or have read anything about it, you know that the 19th century fight for access to information about birth control is a major theme. In fact, reproductive health was a major issue at the time. Doctors did sometimes end up in jail (and prison) for providing patients with information on how to prevent conception. This subject is apparently still open to debate, as indicated by the current congressional inquiry on Planned Parenthood.
From the day I first starting thinking about the plot and backstory for TGH, I wondered if people might dislike the novel or object to it because of the way contraception and abortion are handled.1 Though no one has come out to say it openly, on occasion I have got that impression. So there are multiple questions: do some people dislike the novel for that reason, and if that’s the case, will they say so, openly? And if not, why not?
Now I’m curious if anybody will speak up here. I won’t be surprised if no one is willing to grab this hot potato, but I’d sure sure be interested in your thoughts.
- I would say, for the record, that the issue in The Gilded Hour is not so much one of abortion as it is violence toward and control of women. ↩