"Tes the hand of Nature, and we women cannot escape it."
Margaret Sanger; Pioneer of birth-control advice in America
Public DomainMargaret Sanger; Pioneer of birth-control advice in America - Credit: Underwood and Underwood
frontispiece of 'Married Love' by Marie Stopes
Public Domainfrontispiece of 'Married Love' by Marie Stopes - Credit: Marie Stopes

At this point in the text, Flora indicates that she has some knowledge of contraceptive techniques, and this is confirmed later on when she gives advice to Meriam, 'the hired girl', on the 'precautionary arts'.  The idea that a young, unmarried woman like Flora should be well-informed on this subject is interesting in view of the fact that pioneers of birth control methods, such as Margaret Sanger in America and Marie Stopes in Britain, had faced significant opposition when they wrote about contraception, and established birth control clinics (Margaret Sanger in New York in 1916, and Marie Stopes in London in 1918).  Moreover, even these pioneers tended to think in terms of contraception for married women only (something which is reflected in the titles of Marie Stopes' books Married Love  and Wise Parenthood, both published in 1918).

Later on in Cold Comfort Farm, there is a reference to 'wife-swapping' (the 'Bloomsbury-cum-Charlotte-Street lions which exchanged their husband and wives every week-end') which, coupled with Flora Poste's knowledge of 'the precautionary arts', suggests that attitudes to, and knowledge about sexuality in the 1930s may have been very different from how they are conventionally portrayed.