Posted by Lou on June 13, 1998 at 13:03:44:
In response to Thanks for the help, Lou......., written by CathyW on June 13, 1998 at 02:05:46
Actually, the parent's permission part of the book was considerably vague. It did say that the man 'should' ask permission of the parents to make his 'addresses' to the young woman. Which I believe to mean prior to his initial attempts to court her.
I think it may be vague because we're speaking of a transition time here. Before this time in history, most marriages were arrange...so the parents were well aware of a man's intentions probably even before the woman was.
In the 19th century, the idea of marriage for love was beginning to take hold in some parts of the world. I would imagine (and this is pure speculation on my part) that if the man were in love he would attempt to secure the 'feelings' of the woman before sticking his neck out and committing to her parents (Like we see in P&P and the others). Remember, there was no easy avenue of escape once he committed to marriage.
I would imagine in a long distance relationship that he would solicit her feelings initially by letter, then once he was assured of her good opinion (and she would return his letter telling him that her parents would most likely consent), that he would contact her parents in the same manner. There were no samples of such letters 'asking permission' in the book.
Once the parents gave their permission, a marriage contract would be arranged as to what the woman would bring financially to the marriage from the father's estate, and also what the prospective husband would agree to give the wife in return as far as personal money, and what she could expect to live on given the unfortuante demise of her husband. At this time I believe the details of inheretance would be spelled out as well.
This is more than anyone probably wants to know, but I find human courtship rituals and etiquette absolutely fascinating! One has to be creative, when you have no feathers to ruffle, or horns to lock. ;-)
- letters and engagements Emelye 07:55:20 6/19/98 (0)
- Thanks again, Lou. I had forgotten about the dowry.(nfm) CathyW 13:37:28 6/13/98 (0)
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