A History of the Wife by Marilyn Yalom

By Marilyn Yalom

How did marriage, thought of a non secular accountability in medieval Europe, develop into a venue for private success in modern the United States? How did the thought of romantic love, a novelty within the center a long time, turn into a prerequisite for marriage at the present time? And, if the unique function of marriage used to be procreation, what precisely is the aim of marriage for girls now? Combining "a scholar's rigor and a storyteller's craft"(San Jose Mercury News), unusual cultural historian Marilyn Yalom charts the evolution of marriage within the Judeo Christian global throughout the centuries and exhibits how greatly our principles approximately marriage have replaced. For any lady who's, has been, or ever might be married, this intellectually energetic and gripping historic research of marriage sheds new gentle on an establishment most folk take without any consideration, and which can, in truth, be experiencing its so much convulsive upheaval because the Reformation.

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Singlewomen found a few more employment opportunities in huckstering, or selling small goods and victuals, than they did in tippling or alehouse-keeping; but the handful of never-married women who made a 53 SRO, SC 9/3/12, fo. 25. ‘Housewife’ was an occupational term as well as an indicator of marital status, which explains why town officials used it to describe a singlewoman. 54 SRO, SC 2/1/8, fo. 132. 55 Earle, ‘The Female Labour Market’, 339, Table 10. 56 SRO, SC 6/1/98. 57 Perhaps the clearest example of the relative economic privilege of widows is apparent in the starkly different manner in which Southampton’s officials treated petitions to trade made by widows and singlewomen.

Beier, ‘Vagrants and the Social Order’, 6–9. The title of Beier’s synthetic work on vagrancy in early modern England–Masterless Men (London: Methuen, 1985)—indicates his focus on male vagrants. 86 A. J. ), and A. L. ), A Calendar of Southampton Apprenticeship Registers 1609–1740, Southampton Records Series, 12 (Southampton, 1968); Pamela Sharpe, ‘Poor Children as Apprentices in Colyton, 1598–1830’, Continuity and Change, 6: 2 (1991), 253–70. 87 The Norwich Census of the Poor, 19. 88 Slack, Poverty and Policy, 180–1; SRO, SC 2/1/6, fo.

Never-married women who would not or could not maintain themselves through service struck out into various types of day labour or other independent occupations, 57 Earle, ‘The Female Labour Market’, 339, Table 10. The Southampton Mayor’s Book of 1606–1608, 102. SRO, SC 2/1/6, fo. 237. 60 According to the Statute of Artificers (1563), people without independent trades could be compelled into service. But the majority of those punished for being out of service were young women. For instance, 80% of such cases in Norwich dealt with women.

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