Jealousy in July : The Price of a Broken Heart by Maria Grace — 13 Comments

  1. This is a well-researched and presented piece of background! Thank you, Maria Grace for providing some education that I hadn’t realized how much I needed.

  2. When we moved to Texas in 1969 as my husband was to be stationed at Ft. Hood, I learned from co-workers that in Texas it was considered justifiable homicide if a spouse walked in on the other spouse committing adultery and murdered…but I can’t remember if it was one or both of the participants.

    Looked it up on the Internet: “In Texas until 1974, a husband who killed a wife and her lover when he caught them in flagrante delicto was not judged a criminal. In fact, the law held that a “reasonable man” would respond to such extreme provocation with acts of violence.”

    Doesn’t say the wife could shot her husband for the same thing, though.

    • I’ve spent almost my entire life in Texas, and that sounds entirely like the state. LOL I don’t know if it would apply to the wife, but Texas being what it is, I think there’s a good chance of it! Thanks Sheila!

  3. Thanks for another of your interesting reviews of social customs.
    Can you give us the sources for your illustrations?? That first painting looks intriguing.

  4. A fascinating topic. Thanks, Maria.

    I did some research on breach of promise, several years ago while writing “For Myself Alone.” The most surprising thing I discovered is that early on in the history of the phenomenon, men were as likely as women to file these suits. A man didn’t risk so much in reputation by a broken engagement. But it goes back to what you said about marriage at the time being very much a business arrangement. If a woman with money had promised to marry a man who needed it, he could be seen as injured if she changed her mind – injured financially by losing the fortune he expected to acquire from his future wife. He might even have borrowed against his “expectations” and be left in debt when she withdrew. Public opinion gradually turned, though, and made this form of recourse less and less popular until it became what most people are familiar with – almost exclusively women suing men.

  5. Superb article and very interesting. I thought about Sir Thomas Bertram offering to speak for his daughter Maria and end her engagement with Mr Rushworth after his return from Antigua. He had rightly seen that her behavior towards her fiance was cool and even dismissive and he had realised that Mr Rushworth was limited in intelligence and education. That would have been a breach of promise but one that would not have hurt either party materially. It would have been a scandal but one Sir Thomas felt could be weathered. Possibly if Sir Thomas had also suggested that Maria go to London and stay with her cousins or even sent her to london, good lodgings, with Mrs Norris in attendance, she might have accepted his offer to release her from her engagement.Or go to Bath. Anyway, I also thought of Captain Wentworth, who did not seem to realize until Louisa’s accident, that the people around them considered them semi engaged. Being an honorable man, this caused him to atleast not pursue Anne until Louisa’s situation had changed.

  6. Fascinating research! Soap opera indeed! I am surprised they went through quickly though as I thought the courts were so backlogged even then. Thank you!

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