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Clarendon Press, Oxford - first edition, 1986. hardcover, 8 3/4" x 5 1/2", with dust jacket. VERY GOOD book in VERY GOOD price-clipped DJ. Black cloth-bound boards with gold title to spine, light-blue endpapers, 14 b&w photographs, appendix (family trees), notes, locations of manuscript collections, index. GOOD COPY OF SCARCE BOOK. A fascinating examination of the rituals of courtship, and the complex interactions of love, wealth and class as important prerequisites for marriage and motherhood. Experiences of the joys of childbirth are contrasted with the ever present dangers of miscarriage and maternal mortality. The book also analyses the vital domestic functions of spinsters and the social and political roles and attitudes of politicians' wives. Individual cases present the varieties of women's behaviour, and to illustrate how women's daily activities often differed radically from the prescribed ideals of womanhood. A particularly thorough & intellectually stimulating work.