In Part 2 of this blog series, I share 70 newspaper clippings from Victorian America, wherein reports abound that husbands have sold their wives. Prices range from $0.05 (5 cents) to thousands of dollars (US, Victorian). I provided price comparisons, just for impact. Throughout, I provided my opinions regarding TRUTH or JOKE. Ultimately, there had to be some of both. What a bizarre practice!
Join me for the first of two parts–For Sale: WIFE. Victorian American Newspapers of the mid- to late-nineteenth century (and early 20th century) illustrate the extinct custom of wife selling and wife trading. The newspaper article featured in this blog post showcases this antiquated approach to marriage (and wives as chattel–literally, a man’s property) as part of a greater, overarching problem of crumbling morality.
Vintage newspaper articles from 1827 and 1876 illustrate the Victorian-era attitude regarding a woman’s work within the home. Far more than meal preparation and child-rearing, these brief statements memorialize the era’s viewpoint of differences between men and women, and the wife’s cherished role as confidante, partner in sorrows and joys, whose feminine endowment brings “exquisite tact which rounds the sharp corners, and softens the asperities of different characters, enabling people differing most widely to live together in peace…”