Examining Law Through the Lens of Literature: The Formation of Marriage in Eighteenth-Century England

Law and Humanities, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 29–48, 2008

Warwick School of Law Research

20 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2009  

Rebecca Probert

University of Warwick - School of Law

Abstract

This article examines what eighteenth-century novels and plays can tell us about the formation of marriage both before and after the Clandestine Marriages Act of 1753. It shows how the practices and, perhaps more crucially, the assumptions, of fictional characters were consistent with legal sources of the time, and that such primary sources fundamentally undermine many modern analyses of the making of marriage.

Keywords: contracts of marriage, clandestine marriage, ministers, Gretna Green

Suggested Citation

Probert, Rebecca, Examining Law Through the Lens of Literature: The Formation of Marriage in Eighteenth-Century England. Law and Humanities, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 29–48, 2008; Warwick School of Law Research. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1503980

Rebecca Probert (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - School of Law ( email )

Gibbet Hill Road
Coventry CV4 7AL, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
02476 524484 (Phone)
02476 524105 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/staff/academic/probert

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