A History Of The Wife

Front Cover
Harper Collins, May 19, 2009 - Family & Relationships - 464 pages
5 Reviews

How did marriage, considered a religious duty in medieval Europe, become a venue for personal fulfillment in contemporary America? How did the notion of romantic love, a novelty in the Middle Ages, become a prerequisite for marriage today? And, if the original purpose of marriage was procreation, what exactly is the purpose of marriage for women now?

Combining "a scholar's rigor and a storyteller's craft"(San Jose Mercury News), distinguished cultural historian Marilyn Yalom charts the evolution of marriage in the Judeo Christian world through the centuries and shows how radically our ideas about marriage have changed.

For any woman who is, has been, or ever will be married, this intellectually vigorous and gripping historical analysis of marriage sheds new light on an institution most people take for granted, and that may, in fact, be experiencing its most convulsive upheaval since the Reformation.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
1
4 stars
3
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

A well-researched, well-organized and fascinating study of what it has meant to be a "wife." Read full review

Review: A History of the Wife

User Review  - Miriam - Goodreads

Fascinating. It is what it's title claims, a history of the wife. And because for most of history, most women have been wives, it is also the history of women and their lot in western society for the past few thousand years. Read full review

Contents

Biblical Greek and Roman Models
1
Wives in Medieval Europe 11001500
45
THREE
78
Protestant Wives in Germany England and America 15001700
97
FOUR
146
FIVE
175
SEVEN
237
The Woman Question and the New Woman
263
EIGHT
274
Sex Contraception and Abortion in the United States 18401940
294
NINE
317
Toward the New Wife 19502000
352
NOTES
401
CREDITS AND PERMISSIONS
427
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 12 - She riseth also while it is yet night and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
Page 120 - What is she but a foul contending rebel And graceless traitor to her loving lord ? I am ashamed that women are so simple To offer war where they should kneel for peace, Or seek for rule, supremacy and sway, When they are bound to serve, love and obey.
Page 15 - Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Page 10 - And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?
Page 5 - Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die...
Page 12 - For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
Page 120 - Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, Thy head, thy sovereign ; one that cares for thee, And for thy maintenance commits his body To painful labour both by sea and land...
Page 12 - Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
Page 191 - He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes, and in case of separation to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given, as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of women — the law in all cases going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands.
Page 131 - How soon, my Dear, death may my steps attend, How soon't may be thy lot to lose thy friend. We both are ignorant, yet love bids me These farewell lines to recommend to thee, That when that knot's untied that made us one, I may seem thine, who in effect am none.

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2009)

Marilyn Yalom is a former professor of French and a senior scholar at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. She is the author of widely acclaimed books such as A History of the Breast, A History of the Wife, Birth of the Chess Queen, and, most recently, How the French Invented Love. She lives in Palo Alto, California, with her husband, psychiatrist and author Irvin D. Yalom.

Bibliographic information