Love, Intimacy and Power: Marriage and Patriarchy in Scotland, 1650-1850
Through an analysis of the correspondence of over one hundred couples from the Scottish elites across the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, this book explores how ideas around the nature of emotional intimacy, love, and friendship within marriage adapted to a modernising economy and society and in turn shaped how power was negotiated between partners across the period. A feminist methodology is used to highlight how patriarchal values shaped the nature of the marital relationship, affecting how men and women perceived their role within it and how they understood married life. Barclay argues that patriarchy continued to be the central model for marriage across the period as couples found ways to negotiate its strictures to make it compatible with their personal experiences. As a result, women found spaces to hold power within the family, but could not translate it to power beyond the household. Comparing the Scottish experience to that across Europe and North America, Barclay shows that over the course of the eighteenth century, far from being a side-note in European history, Scottish ideas about gender and marriage were to become culturally dominant. This book will be vital to those studying and teaching Scottish social history and those interested in the history of marriage and gender. It will also appeal to feminists with an interest in how power was negotiated within the household and how patriarchy evolved over time.
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