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Drawing upon vivid court records and newspaper advertisements, this study challenges traditional views of married life in eighteenth-century England. It reveals husbands' and wives' expectations and experiences of marriage to expose the extent of co-dependency between spouses. The book, therefore, presents a new picture of power in marriage and the household. It also demonstrates how attitudes towards adultery and domestic violence evolved during this period, influenced by profound shifts in cultural attitudes about sexuality and violence.Read more
- An unusually detailed model of married life in the eighteenth century, which stresses co-dependency between husband and wife
- Charts thinking towards violence and adultery in the eighteenth century, focusing as much on men's needs and dependence as on those of women
- Uses a combination of sources to provide social and gender insights into married life
Reviews & endorsements
"It is lucidly written, beautifully organzied, and painstakingly researched."
Journal of Social History, Reform and Social ChangeSee more reviews
"This is a deeply researched and carefully argued book, and it makes a very important contribution to both family and gender history. Bailey's work should be immediately influential among family historians, and it should generate much discussion among historians of gender. Indeed, in a field already rich with the subtle works of such authors as Margaret Hunt, Laura Gowing, and Anna Clark, Bailey stakes out her own ground and demands that we continue to reassess and render more nuanced our understanding of ideologies and experiences of patriarchy and gender relationships in the eighteenth century."
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- Date Published: August 2003
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521810586
- length: 262 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.56kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: assessing marriage
2. 'To have and to hold': analysing married life
3. 'For better, for worse': resolving marital difficulties
4. 'An honourable estate': marital roles in the household
5. 'With all my worldly goods I thee endow': spouses' contributions and possessions within marriage
6. 'Wilt thou obey him and serve him': the marital power balance
7. 'Forsaking all other': marital chastity
8. 'Till death us do part': life after a failed marriage
9. 'Mutual society, help and comfort': conclusion
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