The Shadow Of Marriage

Singleness in England 1914-60

By Katherine Holden
Book Details
Author: Katherine Holden
Publisher: Manchester Uni. Press
Edition: 2007
Page Details
Section: Book Reviews =>
Subjects: Sexuality, Women
Posted: Modified:

This very well researched book concerns single men and women living in England during the early years until the mid twentieth century. Information taken from various sources, such as official records, statistics, interviews with elderly single people and institutions, create a very clear picture of people who were unmarried during those years.

The attitude of society at that time towards illegitimacy, the unmarried mother, abortion, divorce, adoption, homosexuality, is discussed. Singleness was not taken seriously as a choice of lifestyle and remained invisible because of not conforming to the nuclear family. The author examines the lives, friendships and relationships of the many unmarried people of that time.

Despite changes in the law and societal attitudes since the last century the author points out that being in a couple is of prime importance, whether the relationship is heterosexual or homosexual. The desired state in the twenty-first century appears to remain confined within the nuclear family ideology.

Singleness, friendships, and all the advantages that go with it, although naturally of great value to all human beings, still takes a secondary place.

The Shadow Of Marriage: Singleness in England 1914-60

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