Synopses & Reviews
For centuries, people have been thinking and writingandmdash;and fiercely debatingandmdash;about the meaning of marriage. Just a hundred years ago, Progressive era reformers embraced marriage not as a time-honored repository for conservative values, but as a tool for social change.
In Until Choice Do Us Part, Clare Virginia Eby offers a new account of marriage as it appeared in fiction, journalism, legal decisions, scholarly work, and private correspondence at the turn into the twentieth century. She begins with reformers like sexologist Havelock Ellis, anthropologist Elsie Clews Parsons, and feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who argued that spouses should be andldquo;class equalsandrdquo; joined by private affection, not public sanction. and#160;Then Eby guides us through the stories of three literary couplesandmdash;Upton and Meta Fuller Sinclair, Theodore and Sara White Dreiser, and Neith Boyce and Hutchins Hapgoodandmdash;who sought to reform marriage in their lives and in their writings, with mixed results. With this focus on the intimate side of married life, Eby views a historical moment that changed the nature of American marriageandmdash;and that continues to shape marital norms today.
About the Author
Clare Virginia Eby is professor of English at the University of Connecticut. She is the author of Dreiser and Veblen: Saboteurs of the Status Quo and an editor of The Cambridge History of the American Novel.
Table of Contents
List of IllustrationsPrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroductionChapter One: A Telescoped History of Marriage and the Progressive Era DebateChapter Two: The Architects of the Progressive Marital IdealChapter Three: Sex, Lies, and Media: Upton and Meta Fuller Sinclairandrsquo;s Marital ExperimentChapter Four: Theodore Dreiser on Monogamy, Varietism, and andldquo;This Matter of Marriage, Nowandrdquo;Chapter Five: Organic Marriage in the Life Writings of Neith Boyce and Hutchins HapgoodEpilogueNotesIndex