|Were there any consequences for the ex-suitor?
Written by Mandy N
(10/22/2003 11:30 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR - Before and after a proposal of marriage, penned by Deborah Julia
] Even when a proposal had been made, the next hurdle was the "settlement stage", if negotiations broke down the woman's reputation was "tainted" which seems unfair as a woman had no power to negotiate her own settlement.
] I was struck by the warning "of all the stages in a woman's life....none is more dangerous as the period between her acknowledgement of a passion for a man, and the day set apart for the nuptials" (Hugh Kelly, 1796 pages 53 & 54).
I don't know if it's abit late to ask this question but being unable to secure the book, I'm dependent on posts for info. and I admit when I first read this,I was aghast! I hope this query isn't irrelevant; If a woman is jilted after proposal and is thus 'tainted' presumably her family will be angry; Her chances of a second proposal have been compromised, the honour of her family affected. Surely many a father or brother felt obliged to duel an unwilling suitor for the honour of their kinswoman and family? Also, I seem to recall some Breach of Contract Act that enabled an engaged woman (or her father) to sue a man who refused to marry her. Perhaps this legislation was introduced later.
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