Espousals, Betrothals, and Contracts
This chapter examines the tradition of espousals, betrothals, and contracts in Elizabethan and Stuart England. It investigates the processes involved in the prospective partners' agreement to marry, the degree of formality involved, and the publicity of ceremonial pledges. It analyses the transformation of the goodwill of two parties into a solemn matrimonial bond and examines religious argument alongside social practices by considering the sexual behaviour of the newly contracted couples.
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