In Bed with the Victorians: The Life-Cycle of Working-Class Marriage
This book examines the life-cycle of Victorian working-class marriage through a study of the hitherto hidden marital bed. Using coroners’ inquests to gain intimate access to the working-class home and its inhabitants, this book explores their marital, quasi-marital, and post-marital beds to reveal the material, domestic, and emotional experience of working-class marriage during everyday life and at times of crisis. Drawing on the recent approach of utilising domestic objects to explore interpersonal relationships, the marital bed not only provides a rereading of the experiences of the working-class wife but also brings the much maligned or simply overlooked working-class husband into the picture. Moreover, it also extends our understanding of the various marriage-like arrangements existing throughout this class. Moving through the marital life-cycle, this book provides a greater understanding of marriages from the outset, during childbirth, at times of strife and marital breakdown, and upon the death of a spouse.
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