Middleton v. Middleton The lady and the groom, 1781–1796
The story of the Middleton affair is more than merely a familiar, banal, tale of female adultery and its aftermath. The evidence thrown up by it exposes a microcosm of life in an 18th-century large village or small town and a small country house which is unsurpassed in the intimacy of its detail concerning the thoughts and behaviour of all classes from the squire to the labourer. In the first place, this story demonstrates how the domestic affairs of a great landlord directly impinged upon the lives and economic welfare of a large circle of dependents, including most of the inhabitants of the village next to the country seat.
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