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ANTHOLOGIES/STORIES


11-18 Magdalena Scott – Serendipity Surprises

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Romance Through Time by Susan Horsnell




This month I thought I would take a look at Romance and how it's changed over time.

Where would we be without romance? What was courtship and marriage like for our distant ancestors? Beginning with the ancient Greeks' recognition of the need to describe more than one kind of love, inventing the word eros to describe carnal love, and agape to mean a spiritual love.

Ancient


In ancient times, many of the first marriages were by capture, not choice - when there was a scarcity of nubile women, men raided other villages for wives. Frequently the tribe from which a warrior stole a bride would come looking for her, and it was necessary for the warrior and his new wife to go into hiding to avoid being discovered. According to an old French custom, as the moon went through all its phases the couple drank a brew called metheglin, which was made from honey. Hence, we get the word, honeymoon. Arranged marriages were the norm, primarily business relationships born out of the desire and/or need for property, monetary or political alliances.


Medieval


From buying a woman dinner to opening a door for her, many of today's courting rituals are rooted in
medieval chivalry. During medieval times, the importance of love in a relationship emerged as a reaction to arranged marriages, but was still not considered a prerequisite in matrimonial decisions. Suitors wooed their intended with serenades and flowery poetry, following the lead of lovelorn characters on stage and in verse. Chastity and honor were highly regarded virtues. In 1228, it is said by many that women first gained the right to propose marriage in Scotland, a legal right that then slowly spread through Europe. However, a number of historians have pointed out that this supposed leap year proposal statute never occurred, and instead gained its legs as a romantic notion spread in the press.


Victorian


During the Victorian Era (1837-1901), romantic love became viewed as the primary requirement for marriage and courting became even more formal - almost an art form among the upper classes. An interested gentleman could not simply walk up to a young lady and begin a conversation. Even after being introduced, it was still some time before it was considered appropriate for a man to speak to a lady or for a couple to be seen together. Once they had been formally introduced, if the gentleman wished to escort the lady home he would present his card to her. At the end of the evening the lady would look over her options and chose who would be her escort. She would notify the lucky gentleman by giving him her own card requesting that he escort her home. Almost all courting took place in the girl's home, always under the eye of watchful parents. If the courting progressed, the couple might advance to the front porch. Smitten couples rarely saw each other without the presence of a chaperone, and marriage proposals were frequently written.

I hope you have enjoyed this travel through romantic time.
Until next month, stay safe.

Sue



Susan Horsnell - Western Romance Author

Author's Page:
http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Horsnell/e/B00BXR5FMM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1437206600&sr=1-2-ent

Blog:
http://susanhorsnell.com

Website:
http://horsnells.wix.com/susan--1

3 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

A fun walk through romantic times, Sue! Love the swan picture at the top and since they mate for life, a very fitting introduction to your post.

Sarah Raplee said...

An interesting post, Susan! We think of the Victorian Age as one of sexual repression, but the emphasis on romantic love must have been emotionally liberating for both men and women.

Diana McCollum said...

I loved the walk through romantic times! Thanks for sharing!