The articles in this volume provide an overview of the issues and complexities that informed marriage in the premodern West. They provide a series of interdisciplinary and multicultural analyses of an institution that was fundamental across societies and cultures, but manifested in diverse practices and beliefs. Focusing, in particular, on the Italian peninsula, the articles move outward to include the distant worlds of England and Scotland. Studies of endogamy and exogamy reveal how complex marriage strategies functioned, often in contrast to their intended goals. The articles move from the highest reaches of society, royalty and papacy, to burghers and town dwellers. The richness of sources for the premodern world is explored including legal records, letters, paintings, and literature. Together the articles provide a window onto marriage as a social institution and as a lived experience, at once profoundly other yet curiously familiar.
Featuring articles by: P. Renée Baernstein, Elena Brizio, Ersie Burke, Erin J. Campbell, Mauro Carboni, Jennifer Mara DeSilva, Sally Hickson, Shennan Hutton, Reinier Leushuis, Heather Parker, Lesley Peterson, Katalin Prajda, Jamie Smith, William E. Smith III, Matteo Soranzo, and Elena Crislyn Woodacre.
“Strategic, pragmatic, or sociable, even at times affectionate, early modern elite marriages might have many goals, shapes, and consequences, not all of them intended. This interesting volume scouts and illustrates a vast and varied territory of matrimonial doctrines, rules, ideals, practices, and experiences.”
- Thomas Cohen, York University
“This fine collection features premodern interdisciplinary scholarship at its best, in service of our understanding of the marital bond, that fundamental yet ever-changing social relationship. The essays in this volume take us from the kingdom of Jerusalem to Scotland, from the poorest inhabitants of Europe to its crowned heads. Anyone interested in premodern European society will want to have this on the shelf.”
- Shannon McSheffrey, Concordia University
Part One: Women, Men, And Marriage
Part Two: Images and Ideologies
Essays and Studies 27
Institutions outside of Ontario may purchase this title by contacting Iter.
A limited number of print copies are available for purchase from: