The Great Catastrophe of My Life

The Great Catastrophe of My Life

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From the end of the Revolution until 1851, the Virginia legislature granted most divorces in the state. It granted divorces rarely, however, turning down two-thirds of those who petitioned for them. Men and women who sought release from unhappy marriages faced a harsh legal system buttressed by the political, religious, and communal cultures of southern life. Through the lens of this hostile environment, Thomas Buckley explores with sympathy the lives and legal struggles of those who challenged it. Based on research in almost 500 divorce files, The Great Catastrophe of My Life involves a wide cross-section of Virginians. Their stories expose southern attitudes and practices involving a spectrum of issues from marriage and family life to gender relations, interracial sex, adultery, desertion, and domestic violence. Although the oppressive legal regime these husbands and wives battled has passed away, the emotions behind their efforts to dissolve the bonds of marriage still resonate strongly.THE CUCKOLDa#39;S LAMENT As spring advanced through Virginia in the last year of the eighteenth century, John Pryor described to a friend his newfound comfort in a€œthe Estate of Matrimony.a€ Two and a half years earlier the Revolutionary Waranbsp;...

Title:The Great Catastrophe of My Life
Author:Thomas E. Buckley, S.J.
Publisher:Univ of North Carolina Press - 2003-11-03


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