To Have But Not to Hold: A History of Attitudes to Marriage and Divorce in Australia 1858-1975
An extraordinary revolution in family relationships took place in Australia between 1857 and 1976. Marriage changed from an institution to be preserved at almost any cost to a union of equal partners, to be dissolved when it had irretrievably broken down. A millennium of legal, social and religious practice was swept away in less than 120 years. Gender relations were transformed. Change, however, was not straightforward or consistent. The Commonwealth parliament did not act until 1959 and different reforms took place at different times in the Colonies and States. In To Have But Not To Hold, Henry Finlay recounts the transformation through the eyes of parliamentarians. Fierce and varied debates take place in which all shades of opinion are represented. Marriage is sacred. Marriage is an economic union. Marriage is a social contract. Women are dependent. Women are equal. Fault must be punished. Indissoluble marriage preserves the family and the foundations of society. Indissoluble marriage destroys people's lives. This book, by a leading scholar in family law, breaks new ground in its account of a fundamental change which underpins modern Australia's attitudes.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Reception of Divorce in the Australian Colonies
The Smaller States
The Commonwealth Becomes Involved
The Commonwealth Takes Over
A Matter of Family Law
Some Conclusions and a Forward Glimpse
adultery agreed amendment argument Assembly attempt Attorney-General Australia become believe Bill clause colony committee Commonwealth consideration considered Constitution continued court deal debate decree desertion despatch discussion divorce law domicile effect England English equal existing extension fact fault favour federal five further give given Government ground ground for divorce House husband Ibid important interests introduced judge jurisdiction Justice later legislation Legislative Council live Lord March marriage married Matrimonial Causes Act matter means measure months moved November object opinion opposition Parliament particular parties passed period person position possible present principle proceedings proposed provision question reason referred reform regard relation respect result second reading Senator separation social South Wales speaker speech standard suggested taken uniform Victoria votes wife wives woman women