‘A Million Little Bonds’: Infidelity, Divorce and the Emotional Worlds of Marriage in British Women’s Magazines of the 1930s

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Abstract

This article examines infidelity discourse within women's magazines of the 1930s. Marking a departure from existing studies that have explored representations of ideal marriage, it uses discussions of marital breakdown as a lens through which to consider conceptualisations of love within marriage. It demonstrates how, in the interwar period, notions of mutual emotional investment were used to reinforce marriages that were deemed to be in breakdown. Muddying the perceived binary between individuals and the institution of marriage, this research highlights how the latter could be bolstered, rather than challenged, by recourse to the emotional worlds of spouses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-379
Number of pages17
JournalCultural and Social History
Volume14
Issue number3
Early online date25 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2017

Keywords

  • women’s magazines
  • Britain
  • emotion
  • marriage
  • Infidelity

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