Cruelty and Companionship: Conflict in Nineteenth Century Married Life

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Overview

Cruelty and Companionship is an account of the intimate but darker sides of marriage in Victorian and Edwardian England. Hammerton draws upon previously unpublished material from the records of the divorce court and magistrates' courts to challenge many popular views about changing family patterns.
His findings open a rare window onto the sexual politics of everyday life and the routine tensions which conditioned marriage in middle and working class families. Using contemporary evidence ranging from prescriptive texts and public debate to autobiography and fiction, Hammerton examines the intense public scrutiny which accompanied the routine exposure of marital breakdown, and charts a growing critique of men's behaviour in marriage which increasingly demanded regulation and reform. The critical discourse which resulted, ranging from paternalist to feminist, casts new light on the origins and trajectory of nineteenth century feminism, legal change and our understanding of the changing expression of masculinity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415133685
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 12/6/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Chronological chart
General Introduction 1
1 The Targets of 'Rough Music': Respectability and Domestic Violence 15
2 'Rough Usage' 34
3 Companionate Marriage and the Challenge to Patriarchy 73
4 Cruelty and Divorce 102
5 The Adaptation of Patriarchy in Late-Victorian Marriage 134
Conclusion 164
Appendix 1: A note on sources: court records and family history 170
Appendix 2: Street ballads celebrating the attack on General Haynau 177
Appendix 3: Lancashire dialect poetry on domestic relationships 179
Notes 184
Bibliography 216
Index 229
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