Tag Archive: ladies

May 16 2017

Wedding Dresses in Jane Austen’s World

Though nearly all of Jane Austen’s works end with a wedding, she does not spend much time detailing the weddings themselves, much less the wedding dresses. Modern brides often spend a great deal of effort and money on the wedding dress and expect to wear it only once. Honestly, it is hard to imagine another …

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Apr 04 2017

Hardwicke Marriage Act in Jane Austen’s World

The Hardwicke Marriage Act laid out the path to the altar for regency couples Engagements in the regency era were generally brief, often only a few weeks long. Why the hurry? Since premarital sex was common and the birth of illegitimate children problematic for inheritance, parents preferred to see couples married sooner rather than later. Reading the banns or …

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Feb 21 2017

Providing for young ladies’ future in Jane Austen’s World

How did dowries provide for a young woman’s future? A Woman’s Dowry Though Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Bennet referred to dowries as “bribes to worthless young men to marry his daughters,” dowries were more commonly considered a means by which a responsible family compensated a husband for their daughter’s lifelong upkeep. How’s that for a romantic notion?  Dowries …

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Feb 07 2017

Marriage and Coverture in Jane Austen’s World

It’s hard to believe how different women’s lives were in Austen’s day. Marriage and coverture, a legal concept, effectively took away her personhood. The Concept of Coverture In 1765, William Blackstone presented a common man’s language interpretation of English law. He explained the law’s approach to women’s legal existence and rights in marriage which remained largely unchanged until the …

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Feb 04 2017

A Touch of Consumption by Kyra Cornelius Kramer

I’d like to welcome Kyra Kramer today as she shares a fascinating article on consumption–known today as tuberculosis–during the regency era. Medical anthropology is the study of how culture frames health, illness, and medicine. Since cultures change over time, you can also look at medical anthropology from a historical perspective. For example, the way British …

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