Marriage and Dowry

Alexander Cowan

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:
Marriage and Dowry

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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The history of marriage is inseparable from the history of the family as an institution and from the history of the female experience. Thematically, it falls into four linked categories, the making of marriages, the ceremonies surrounding marriage (Marriage Rituals), which were both religious and secular and could span lengthy periods of time, the functioning of marriage within the couple, and the social and economic roles of widows and widowers. Dowries, the sums of money and material goods which were normally transferred to the husband or his family at the time of getting married but later returned to widows, played a central role in all four of these categories. Interest in these issues first emerged in the 1960s and found a place among the historians linked to the journals Annales: Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations in France (see Annales: Histoire, Sciences sociales, cited under Journals), Quaderni Storici in Italy (also cited under Journals), and the Cambridge Group for the Study of Population and Social Structure in the United Kingdom. Multiple studies from all parts of Europe have blossomed as a result.

Article.  10871 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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