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Courtship And Constraint

Overview

This book is the first major study of courtship in early modern England. Courtship was a vitally important process in early modern England. It was a period of private and public negotiation, often fraught with anxiety. If completed successfully it brought respectability, the privileges of marriage and adulthood, and a stable union between socially, economically, and emotionally compatible couples. Using Kent church court and probate material dating from the 15th to the end of the 16th century, the book blends ...

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Overview

This book is the first major study of courtship in early modern England. Courtship was a vitally important process in early modern England. It was a period of private and public negotiation, often fraught with anxiety. If completed successfully it brought respectability, the privileges of marriage and adulthood, and a stable union between socially, economically, and emotionally compatible couples. Using Kent church court and probate material dating from the 15th to the end of the 16th century, the book blends historical and anthropological perspectives to suggest novel and exciting approaches to the making of marriage.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“...will change the way historians think about the origins of the European marriage pattern, about the popular acculturation of marriage law, about the dynamics of inheritance and most of all about the freedom which is conventionally understood to have underpinned the making of English marriage”—Jourbanal of Continuity and Change
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Diana O'Hara is a researcher with Victoria County History.

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Table of Contents

The Structures of Courtship and the Role of Family, Kin and Community
• The Language of Tokens and the Making of Marriage
• 'Movers', 'Sutors', 'Speakers', and 'Brokers' of Marriage: The Role of the Go-Betweens as a 'Means' of Courtship
• Courtship Horizons in the Sixteenth Century: Distance and Place as Factors in Marriage Formation
• The Timing of Marriage: Constraints and Expectations
• Material Girls?: Dowries and Property in Courtship

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