Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage

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Penguin, Feb 28, 2006 - History - 448 pages
120 Reviews
Just when the clamor over "traditional" marriage couldn’t get any louder, along comes this groundbreaking book to ask, "What tradition?" In Marriage, a History, historian and marriage expert Stephanie Coontz takes readers from the marital intrigues of ancient Babylon to the torments of Victorian lovers to demonstrate how recent the idea of marrying for love is—and how absurd it would have seemed to most of our ancestors. It was when marriage moved into the emotional sphere in the nineteenth century, she argues, that it suffered as an institution just as it began to thrive as a personal relationship. This enlightening and hugely entertaining book brings intelligence, perspective, and wit to today’s marital debate.

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Review: Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage

User Review  - Kirsten - Goodreads

I've read some of Coontz's other books, and really like her. This book counters all the conservatives who spout off about how marriage has been the same since time immemorial until Teh Gayz got all ... Read full review

Review: Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage

User Review  - Erin - Goodreads

While its treatment of some of the economic drivers behind changes to marriage can seem a bit light sometimes, overall this is a really good overview of the changes to the institution in the western world. Read full review

All 54 reviews »


The Real Traditional Marriage
Nothing Is More Impure Than to Love Ones Wife as if She Were a Mistress9
It Made Me Really Sick Just as I Have Formerly Been When in Love with My Wife
Happily Ever After
The Importance of InLaws
The Transformation of Marriage in Ancient Societies
The Marriage of Antony and Cleopatra
Marriage Among the Common Folk of Ancient Society
The Dawn of Marriages Golden Age
The Gathering Storm
The Disestablishment of Marriage
Chapter 1 The Radical Idea of Marrying for Love
Chapter 2 The Many Meanings of Marriage
Chapter 3 The Invention of Marriage

The Athenian Experiment
Politics and Marriage in the Roman State
The Emergence of Christianity
Charlemagnes Matrimonial and Religious Alliances
The Marriage Scandal of the Millennium
The Peculiar History of Incest Laws
The Importance of a Highborn Wife
Marriage Love and Individual Choice
Portraits of Medieval Marriage
The Protestant Reformation
Are We There Yet?
The Revolutionary Implications of the Love Match
Inventing the Male Breadwinner Marriage
The EighteenthCentury Sexual Crisis
Challenges to Victorian Marriage
You Are Now the Husband of a Career Woman
Chapter 4 Soap Operas of the Ancient World
Chapter 5 Something Borrowed
Chapter 6 Playing the Bishop Capturing the Queen
Chapter 7 How the Other 95 Percent Wed
Chapter 8 Something Old Something New
Chapter 9 From Yoke Mates to Soul Mates
Chapter 10 Two Birds Within One Nest
Chapter 11 A Heaving Volcano
Chapter 12 The Time When Mountains Move Has Come
Chapter 13 Making Do Then Making Babies
Chapter 14 The Era of Ozzie and Harriet
Chapter 15 Winds of Change
Chapter 16 The Perfect Storm
Chapter 17 Uncharted Territory
Better or Worse?

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About the author (2006)

Coontz is a historian.

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