Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

A History of Marriage

From Same Sex Unions to Private Vows and Common Law, The Surprising Diversity of a Tradition

by Elizabeth Abbott

Output-f_feature

What does the "tradition of marriage" really look like? In A History of Marriage, Elizabeth Abbott paints an often surprising picture of this most public, yet most intimate, institution. Ritual of romance, or social obligation? Eternal bliss, or cult of domesticity? Abbott reveals a complex tradition that includes same-sex unions, arranged marriages, dowries, self-marriages, and child brides. Marriage—in all its loving, unloving, decadent, and impoverished manifestations—is revealed here through Abbott's infectious curiosity.

Collected in  

Happy Pride Month!
Output-f_feature

Buying options

“Elizabeth Abbott has penned a masterpiece . . . a wide-ranging account of how the social intersects with many forms of the personal.”

“Deftly shows how this always fragile, yet always resilient institution has evolved. It's not always a pretty picture but it's a fascinating one.”

“No thoughtful person—married, elibate, unfaithful or therwise—should be without this ook.”

“This book is like taking a centuries-long, world-wide trip down a petal-strewn aisle, and I loved it. If you enjoy a good wedding, are first in line to dance The Hora, or you've divorced yourself from boring reads, then find A History of Marriage.”

“[A History of Marriage] weaves stories and facts in a kind of loosely fluid narrative that makes pleasant reading. The author has a flair for sweetening the facts with her palatable style.”

“Sure to provoke and surprise.”

Abbot-f_feature

Born in Montreal in 1942, ELIZABETH ABBOTT is a writer, lecturer, and historian whose interests range across women's issues, social justice, the humane treatment of animals, and the environment. She holds a doctorate from McGill University in 19th century history. With the 2010 publication of A History of Marriage, Abbott completed her trilogy about human relationships, which includes the previous titles A History of Celibacy and A History of Mistresses. Abbott is also the author of several books and articles on the culture and politics of Haiti. Sugar: A Bittersweet History, inspired by her Antiguan heritage, was short-listed for the 2009 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. Abbott has lived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and now resides in Toronto.