Saturday, November 30, 2019

Ritual and Law in 17th Century Britain - Wife Swapping

How absurd a thought, yet here it is Devonshire Characters and Strange S. Baring-Gould.
‘There is no myth relative to the manners and customs of the English that in my experience is more tenaciously held by the ordinary Frenchman than that the sale of a wife in the market place is an habitual and an accepted fact in English Life.’ SBG, 1908

If you'll notice in the image, she looks like a pink piggy with a rope around her neck being eyed by three gentleman at the Smithfield Market by Laurie & Whittle 1796.

A more sinister image of the practice depicts women being sold as actual property in the following less colorful image from Harper's magazine, 1876.

The misogyny of women has progressed from comedy to property in under 100 years; and this, more than 100 years ago.

Read more about this origins and direction of this darkly tragic story written deep in the bones of who we are at The Cornish Bird Blog.


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