In Bed with the Victorians: The Life-Cycle of Working-Class Marriage

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Springer, Oct 16, 2017 - History - 125 pages
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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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Victorian WorkingClass Marriage and the Marital Bed
Chapter 2 Beds of Newlyweds
Chapter 3 From Marital Bed to Childbed
Chapter 4 Marital Beds in Marital Strife
Chapter 5 Beds After Marital Separation
Chapter 6 Postmarital Beds of the Bereaved
Chapter 7 Conclusion

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About the author (2017)

Vicky Holmes is Visiting Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London, UK.

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