A Century Ago Marrying for Love Was a Novelty A New History of the Western Couple Publication date : May 6, 2015
Yves Ferroul is the co-author, with Élisa Brune, of the highly successful Secrets de femme (Editions Odile Jacob). He taught medieval literature (romans courtois and troubadour poetry) at the University of Lille-3 and has a doctorate and an agrégation in literature.
Laurence Caron-Verschave was formerly a journalist and now works in business communication.
Marrying for love is a recent invention, but the history of couples and of their emotional ties is long and complex. Drawing on extensive historical records, the authors explain how marriage developed from a contract based on financial and other interests; how, gradually, over the centuries, love entered into the picture and, finally, how love has now introduced new possibilities that have completely altered people’s expectations.
The authors cover male-female relations from earliest times, beginning with Lucy; they study the earliest forms of the couple dating back to sedentarization; they examine marriages of convenience in Ancient Greece and Rome; finally, they show how the ideas of the Enlightenment and the erosion of marriages of convenience gradually resulted in the changes that occurred at the beginning of the 20th century.
It took centuries for love to become the basis of the couple.
• This lively, erudite book recounts the fascinating story of male-female relations. It also reviews the history of women’s status in society — a history whose constant has been the enduring oppression of women.
• An engrossing work that puts many received ideas to rest.
• The couple and marriage have never followed a rigid model.