How Much Is A Wife Worth?

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#1
via "Atlas Obscura"
When Divorce Was Off the Table, English Couples Dissolved Their Marriages With Beer
ON JUNE 2, 1828, INSIDE the George and Dragon pub in Tonbridge, England, John Savage paid George Skinner one shilling and a pot of beer for his wife, Mary. George ordered his beer, and John left with Mary. The pair held hands as they went to start their new life together.​
This wasn’t an unusual scene. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, English wives were “sold” for a variety of payments. Prices varied—“as low as a bullpup and a quarter of rum” all the way to “forty [British] pounds and a supper,” the North-Eastern Daily Gazette reported in 1887.​
An interesting article
 

Yithian

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#5
It's the basic plot of Hardy's 'The Mayor Of Casterbridge'.
I hated Hardy at school, but then I found in adulthood that I was warming to him.

Amazingly, for such a stoical pessimist (like flies to wanton boys are we to the gods...), he wrote one poem of true hope in a bleak and apparently meaningless world.

I love this and have it by heart.

To be read, in my view, in a snow-blanketed field at 4 p.m. on New Year's Day with an audience of crows.

The Darking Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land's sharp features seemed to be
The Century's corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.
 

stu neville

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#6
It is beautiful. As is The Voice. Hardy, like Lawrence needs to be read through the prism of adult experience to get the full impact of his narratives. They're complex, messy, just like real lives.
 

AnonyJoolz

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#8
It's the basic plot of Hardy's 'The Mayor Of Casterbridge'.
Which also includes a scene of a Skimmington/Skimmity ride, a town or village 'shaming' ritual.

I agree, Hardy becomes more relevant and impactful as we age, as we learn life and love is often messy and imperfect. We live in his Wessex area in the pseudonymised region of Marlott and Sherston Abbas
 
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