Dead wife's sister...
Posted by The Mysterious H.C. on October 03, 1998 at 01:34:44:
In response to But there's no question of a legal marriage!, written by Constanza on October 02, 1998 at 08:49:33
] In "What JA ate and CD knew", Daniel Pool states that a man may not marry his deaseced wife's sister, and as an example cites Tess.
] On the other hand, when Angel objects to Tess's request, she says that that was done all the time in -insert here the name of the town, which I have forgotten .
The desirability of allowing marriage with a dead wife's sister was actually a long-standing topic of great debate in Victorian times, and I believe that parliament cycled back and forth on the issue once or twice over the years; I have no idea what the state of the law would have been at the time in which Hardy sets "Tess", but some people would have disapproved of it regardless of the state of the law at the moment...
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