It’s not difficult to abandon a child – what will they do? They are completely dependent on their parents, at least that’s how it used to be. Living with a child is difficult: you have to take care of them, feed them, take them for walks, and raise them. A child doesn’t let you get enough sleep, screams, cries, makes noise and misbehaves when they grow up. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau thought about this and simply began to place his newborn children in an orphanage. He didn’t live very wealthy, was busy writing, and children could complicate his life.
Philosopher Rousseau gave five children, one after the other, to an orphanage. His partner gave birth to the children and then took them to the orphanage. Rousseau wrote that he wanted the children to become peasants. Healthy work in the fresh air, simple food, harmony with nature… Most likely, the babies simply died in the orphanage – the conditions in the 18th century were horrifying. But Rousseau didn’t think about that. He wrote a treatise on the proper upbringing of children, which brought him fame as a great educator and enlightener.
Lord Byron placed his illegitimate four-year-old daughter Allegra in a monastery. At first, he took the girl from her mother, and then she annoyed the poet. “She is stubborn like a mule and greedy like a donkey!” – that’s how Byron poetically characterized his child. The girl bothered him; he lived in a castle. It’s hard to imagine how a four-year-old child could bother in a castle… In the monastery, the girl began to grow weak and sickly. “Pale, quiet, and delicate” is how she was remembered. With the help of the nuns, Allegra wrote a letter to her father; rather, the sympathetic nuns wrote on her behalf asking him to visit… Byron said that Allegra was just counting on gifts. No need to go! At five years old, the girl died among strangers.
Poet Marina Tsvetaeva also placed her children in an orphanage during the famine years. And ordered not to say that she was their mother. They were supposed to be orphans. In the orphanage, the younger daughter, Irina, died of hunger and disease. The poetess saw the conditions for keeping the children with her own eyes – under the guise of a godmother, she visited the children. She later took the older daughter back. The younger one died among strangers. More about this story can be found in “The Death of Irochka Efron”. Tsvetaeva did not attend her daughter’s funeral, but wrote a very sad poem about her feelings. Of course, it was very difficult to live in Moscow in a separate apartment with two children, having given up her job. And writing poetry was very difficult, children require a lot of attention and food. Tsvetaeva also mentioned the “greedy one.”