The relation between procreation and authorship, between reproduction and publication, has a long history - indeed, that relationship may well be the very foundation of history itself. The essays in this volume bring into focus a remarkably important and complex phase of this long history. In this volume, some of the most renowned scholars in the field persuasively demonstrate that during the early modern period, the awkward, incomplete transition from manuscript to print brought on by the invention of the printing press temporarily exposed and disturbed the epistemic foundations of English culture. As a result of this cultural upheaval, the discursive field of parenting was profoundly transformed. Through an examination of the literature of the period, this volume illuminates how many important conceptual systems related to gender, sexuality, human reproduction, legitimacy, maternity, kinship, paternity, dynasty, inheritance, and patriarchal authority came to be grounded in a range of anxieties and concerns directly linked to an emergent publishing industry and book trade. In exploring a wide spectrum of historical and cultural artifacts produced during the convergence of human and mechanical reproduction, of parenting and printing, these essays necessarily bring together two of the most vital critical paradigms available to scholars today: gender studies and the history of the book. Not only does this rare interdisciplinary coupling generate fresh and exciting insights into the literary and cultural production of the early modern period but it also greatly enriches the two critical paradigms themselves.