Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Marriage in 18th C Britain

Articles and images and monographs:

George Booth, Earl of Warrington, "Considerations upon the Institution of Marriage"
John Gregory "A Father's Legacy to His Daughters" London 1774
Jonathan Swift "Cadenus and Vanessa" 
Stoops to Conquer - School for Scandal -

Marriage à-la-mode - the Rake's Progress - the Harlot's Progress

"Narrating Marriage in Eighteenth-Century England and France" Christine Roulston
"Marriage and Love in England: Modes of Reproduction 1300-1840" by Alan Macfarlane. Blackwell, 1986
"Family Fictions and Family Facts: Harriet Martineau, Adolphe Queteley and the population question in England 1798-1859" Brian Cooper. Routledge.
 Lawrence Stone: 
   An Open Elite? England 1540-1880 (1984) with Jeanne C. Fawtier Stone, 
   Road to Divorce: England, 1530-1987 (1990) 
   Uncertain Unions: Marriage in England, 1660-1753 (1992) 
   Broken Lives: Separation and Divorce in England, 1660-1857 (1993)

Daily Life in 18th C England Kirstin Olsen (pages 46-49 or so)

Check parliamentary discussions and articles on:

Marriage Act of 1753
(An Act for the Better Preventing of Clandestine Marriage - 26 Geo. II. c. 33) better known as Lord Hardwicke's Act.

Royal Marriages Act 1772 
(An Act for the better regulating the future Marriages of the Royal Family - 12 Geo 3 c. 11) Requires the king's consent for a Royal to marry, if consent is not given royal can declare intent to marry after one year and unless both houses of Parliament disagreed, the marriage would be legal.

King George III's brother Prince Henry had married a commoner in 1771 - the king's son George married Fitzherbert in 1785.

Lord Bishop of Landaff 's bill for the preventing of adultery. 

Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 - 20 & 21 Vict., c. 85
made divorce possible without a private act of parliament or an annulment
Check Tatler and Spectator for comments on marriage and reviews of novels discussing marriage

Thomas Salmon "A Critical Essay Concerning Marriage" 1724
"The Honorableness of Marriage Adjusted and Defended" 1740 ECCO

Canadian Bar Journal, Volume 2, 1959, page 175
Law Notes, Volume 54, 1935, page 355
Check Turner v. Vaughan (2 Wils. 339)

snippets from Jonathan Swift's 'Cadenus and Vanessa' :

That modern love is no such thing
As what those ancient poets sing;
A fire celestial, chaste, refined,
Conceived and kindled in the mind,
Which having found an equal flame,
Unites, and both become the same,
In different breasts together burn,
Together both to ashes turn.
But women now feel no such fire,
And only know the gross desire;
Their passions move in lower spheres,
Where'er caprice or folly steers.
A dog, a parrot, or an ape,
Or some worse brute in human shape
Engross the fancies of the fair,
Hence we conclude, no women's hearts
Are won by virtue, wit, and parts;
Nor are the men of sense to blame
For breasts incapable of flame:
The fault must on the nymphs be placed,
Grown so corrupted in their taste.

She made a speech in open court;
Wherein she grievously complains,
"How she was cheated by the swains."
On whose petition (humbly showing
That women were not worth the wooing,
And that unless the sex would mend,
The race of lovers soon must end);
"She was at Lord knows what expense,
To form a nymph of wit and sense;
A model for her sex designed,
Who never could one lover find,
She saw her favour was misplaced;
The follows had a wretched taste;
She needs must tell them to their face,
They were a senseless, stupid race;
And were she to begin again,
She'd study to reform the men;
Or add some grains of folly more
To women than they had before.
To put them on an equal foot;
And this, or nothing else, would do't.
This might their mutual fancy strike,
Since every being loves its like.


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