Award Date

1-1-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Committee Member

Michelle Tusan

Number of Pages

143

Abstract

This thesis is about the developments in aristocratic divorce in Georgian England. I specify aristocratic, because at this time they were the only individuals who had the financial means to obtain a divorce by Act of Parliament. Officially, no divorce law existed in England until 1857. I have analyzed three divorce cases for adultery from the 1770's and researched how aspects of gender and class impacted the development of the process of divorce. I look at issues of power, shame, and the distinctions between the public and private spheres for men and women. I also investigate the impact of the title, "cuckold" and what it meant for men who were thus labeled in Georgian society. Lastly, I look at the role of the duel and how it served to reestablish a sense of control for cuckolded husbands who were increasingly turning to the law for recourse through the filing of suits for Criminal Conversation; Lawrence Stone and Amanda Vickery both argue that this period was one which experienced an increase in egalitarianism. The sources which I analyzed did not support this position. My findings reflect a conservative, traditional Georgian society.

Keywords

Aristocratic; Divorce; England; Georgian; Perspective; Revisionist

Controlled Subject

Aristocracy (Social class); Great Britain; History; 1700-1799; Divorce--Law and legislation; Divorce; Adultery

File Format

pdf

File Size

2.24 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Language

English

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