What the law actually says
Posted by Caroline on January 25, 1998 at 16:29:11:
In response to Married names, written by MariaH on January 24, 1998 at 09:39:15
English Law allows you to call yourself whatever you wish, whenever you wish. All you have to do is to say publicly that henceforth you wish to be known as.....This right existed under the Anglo-Saxons, I believe.
However, very few women in JA's time retained their maiden name upon marriage..the symbolism of giving up your father's name and taking your husband's was part of the tradition of marriage. The concept of retaining your maiden name actually comes from French law , where under the Napoleonic code, if not before, women did not change their name on marriage, but continued to be known as Madame X, wife of M onsieurY.
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