Unquiet Lives: Marriage and Marriage Breakdown in England, 1660-1800

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is lucidly written, beautifully organzied, and painstakingly researched."
Journal of Social History, Reform and Social Change

"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."
H-Albion

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Joanne Bailey is a Junior research Fellow, Merton College, Oxford.

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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; Bibliography.

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