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By Marilyn Yalom

ISBN-10: 0060931566

ISBN-13: 9780060931568

How did marriage, thought of a non secular accountability in medieval Europe, turn into a venue for private achievement in modern the US? How did the concept of romantic love, a novelty within the heart a while, develop into a prerequisite for marriage this present day? And, if the unique objective of marriage used to be procreation, what precisely is the aim of marriage for ladies now? Combining "a scholar's rigor and a storyteller's craft"(San Jose Mercury News), distinct cultural historian Marilyn Yalom charts the evolution of marriage within the Judeo Christian global in the course of the centuries and indicates how greatly our principles approximately marriage have replaced. For any lady who's, has been, or ever could be married, this intellectually energetic and gripping old research of marriage sheds new gentle on an establishment most folks take with no consideration, and which may, in reality, be experiencing its such a lot convulsive upheaval because the Reformation.

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Rubens's reflections on her death are preserved in a famous letter: Truly I have lost an excellent companion, whom one could love - indeed had to love, with good reason - as having none of the faults of her sex. She had no capricious moods, and no feminine weakness, but was all goodness and honesty. And because of her virtues she was loved during her lifetime, and mourned by all at her death. Such a loss seems to me worthy of deep feeling, and since the true remedy for all ills is Forgetfulness, daughter of Time, I must without doubt look to her for help.

6 Anyway, it is in the reported words of Diotima that we have the famous passage about the ladder, or series, of ascending stages which leads from earthly beauty to absolute beauty. For he who would proceed aright in this matter should begin in youth to seek the company of corporeal beauty; and, first, if he be guided by his PLATO, A U G U S T I N E AND MRS ASTELL 29 instructor aright, to love one beautiful body only - out of that he should create fair thoughts; and soon he will himself perceive that the beauty of one body is akin to the beauty of another; and then if beauty of form in general is his pursuit, how foolish would he be not to recognise that the beauty in everybody is one and the same!

C I wouldn't chuck her out of bed,' was once a frequent but, one now hopes extinct, expression of crude male chauvinism. 23 In the later middle ages, and on into the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, there were standard summaries of what was held to constitute beauty in a woman: first there are seven essential qualities, then nine, then eighteen, and then the elaborate and very popular thirty, grouped in threes: three to be long - hands, legs and hair; three to be white; three to be pink; three to be round; three to be narrow; and so on.

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A History of the Wife by Marilyn Yalom


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