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Marriage in Ireland, 1660–1925
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Book description

What were the laws on marriage in Ireland, and did church and state differ in their interpretation? How did men and women meet and arrange to marry? How important was patriarchy and a husband's control over his wife? And what were the options available to Irish men and women who wished to leave an unhappy marriage? This first comprehensive history of marriage in Ireland across three centuries looks below the level of elite society for a multi-faceted exploration of how marriage was perceived, negotiated and controlled by the church and state, as well as by individual men and women within Irish society. Making extensive use of new and under-utilised primary sources, Maria Luddy and Mary O'Dowd explain the laws and customs around marriage in Ireland. Revising current understandings of marital law and relations, Marriage in Ireland, 1660–1925 represents a major new contribution to Irish historical studies.

Reviews

‘What did marriage in Ireland between 1660 and 1923 really look like? This ground-breaking study of a personal yet, public institution provides the first comprehensive account. It explains marriage law; how the middle and lower classes met, married and fared and what happened when unions failed. Individual agency and institutional control are central themes.'

Bernadette Whelan - University of Limerick

'Marriage in Ireland is a huge piece of research and analysis which will provide material for further serious work for many years. Our social history is greatly enriched by its existence.'

Catriona Crowe Source: Irish Times

'Illuminating.'

Kim Bielenberg Source: Irish Independent

‘Marriage in Ireland is the perfect partnership between Luddy and O’Dowd’s individual research interests. It presents a balanced and nuanced account of the history of marriage from gender, religion and class perspectives, sheds light on the 19th century construction of Ireland’s image as a chaste society and provides a solid foundation for further study. Both authors are to be highly commended for this very important contribution to marriage and sexuality studies in Ireland.’

Michelle Dunne Source: Women's History Association of Ireland (womenshistoryassociation.com)

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