Musings on Romance Fiction from an Academic Perspective
That's a great list, Sandra - I'd agree with you on many of those titles. I'm honoured that one of my books has made it on to the list. Thank you. And I love the fact that you bought it in one of my favourite cities - Galway. (and actually one of my own favourite books)Kate
Why are we suddenly reliving October 2007?And is it even LEGAL to marry your deceased or ex-spouse's spouse?
And is it even LEGAL to marry your deceased or ex-spouse's spouse?It is in the UK since the passing of the Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act 1907 and the Deceased Brother's Widow's Marriage Act 1921. ApparentlyMarriage with the near blood relations of one's deceased husband or wife was first made illegal in England by the Marriage Act of 1835. The Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act of 1907 and the Deceased Brother's Widow's Marriage Act of 1921 legalized the types of marriage implied in the titles of those acts.In the Bible (Deuteronomy 25: 5-10) it seems to have been expected that a man would marry his dead brother's childless wife:If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
Yes, in fact the actual sin of Onan was not masturbation per se, but refusal to beget children on his brother's widow because they would have been considered his brother's offspring.According to a lecture on Matthew Arnold in a Victorian Prose course I once nearly took, the deceased-wife's-sister prohibition was because it was common for unmarried sisters to live with their married siblings, and the Victorians apparently feared an outbreak of spousicide by men lusting after their sisters-in-law.Of course, in the US, since marriage laws are set by the individual states, we have over 50 different sets of rules. I know of one case where a man I knew wanted to marry his wife's first cousin; it was illegal here, so they went to a state where it WAS legal and married there.Mum, can I have the keys to the time machine tonight?
"the Victorians apparently feared an outbreak of spousicide by men lusting after their sisters-in-law."I was going to scoff at them for worrying unnecessarily, but then I remembered reading quite a few romances in which the secret baby is the heroine's sister's (she had a relationship with the hero and then died or left) so the heroine takes the baby and becomes involved with the hero. Sometimes it's not a sister but another close relative of the heroine's. There are also quite a few where the heroine starts out by being the widow of/involved with the hero's brother. Or where the hero's ex-girlfriend or ex-fiancée left him for his brother.Not that this proves anything about the real-life frequency of such events, or whether spousicide would be likely to ensue, of course, but it does suggest that the Victorians weren't alone in wondering if such attractions might arise.