“Reader, I Married Him”
Reader, I Married Him
Reader, I Married Him is an excerpt from a book called, “What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew.” The book was written by Daniel Pool, and was meant to be a commentary on the facts of daily life in nineteenth century England. Throughout the novel as a whole Pool goes over, fact by fact, what it was like to live in nineteenth century England, something that many people know hardly anything about. This particular excerpt from the novel goes into detail, explaining the cold hard facts about what a marriage was to be like and why it was to be so in nineteenth century England. The excerpt specifically comments on sex, dowries, courtship, and what a true Englishman’s home should look like. Pool begins by explaining how important a marriage is, not only for the sake of the union of man and wife, but for the business reasons. He explains that courting a woman is an investment, therefore, a woman leading a man on in any sense is disrespectful, and a waste of his time and money. It is clearly stated that when a woman agrees to the union she is surrendering all that she has in order to be with the man of her choice. It was heart wrenching to read about how marriage, in such a society, was nearly completely a monetary transaction rather than the union of two young lovebirds. It is obvious that Pool is just as disgusted as the reader should be by the fact that a married was not considered sacred to the English in the nineteenth century. Marriage settlements were very intricate and, in my opinion, selfish on both parts. It seems as though people were looking out for themselves in all aspects, which is clearly not the way a marriage is meant to be. Pool also went in depth into the actual process and ceremony part of the union. The four different ways in which your marriage could be validated and carried out all seemed arbitrary. The silly little rules that made the decision...