‘I’d sell my spouse if anyone would purchase her’: spouse product sales in England

‘I’d sell my spouse if anyone would purchase her’: spouse product sales in England

‘For my component we don’t realise why males who ‘ve got wives and want that is don’t, should not be rid of ‘em since these gipsy fellows do their old horses…Why should not they place ‘em up and offer ‘em by auction to guys who’re looking for such articles? Hey? Why, begad, I’d sell mine this full moment if anyone would purchase her!’

Therefore claims the farm that is young Michael Henchard, in just one of the most arresting passages in Thomas Hardy’s 1886 novel The Mayor of Casterbridge. Close to the start of the guide, Michael gets drunk on rum-laced furmity (frumenty), and it has a quarrel together with his spouse, Susan. He chooses to sell Susan and their child daughter, who’re purchased by way of a sailor for five guineas. Whenever Michael sobers up, the enormity of just exactly exactly what he’s done hits house; he realises he cannot get their wife and daughter right right back, and swears down liquor for the following 21 years because of this.

The scene is shocking, no question, exactly just what with Michael’s casual brutality, Susan’s misery, plus the pervasive misogyny. Yet whenever it emerges that Susan normally quite keen to part means with Michael, i will be struck by there being something oddly modern with what is basically a quick no-fault divorce proceedings. 继续阅读“‘I’d sell my spouse if anyone would purchase her’: spouse product sales in England”