Marriage, Health and Compatibility in Early Modern England (360G-Wellcome-205359_Z_16_Z)


This project will produce a history of marriage and health in early modern England. Marriage is generally understood as an institution governed by legal and religious regulations and social norms that have taken different forms throughout history. In post-Reformation England marriage was increasingly regulated and interrogated. Performing gendered spousal roles was part of religious practice, something perpetuated by the growing culture of conduct manuals. A central obligation of marriage was to care for one another in sickness. This has underpinned histories of domestic medicine that reveal that the early modern family was active in diagnosis and cure. The two major goals of this project are (1) To assess how good health defined a successful marriage in early modern England and (2) To investigate how the social norms and expectations of marriage changed over the course of a union. As part of this inquiry, subsidiary goals will be (3) To interrogate how marital compatibility was measured, (4) How poor health of one spouse affected the other, and (5) How illness impacted on the household as a whole. Finally, this project aims (6) To uncover how cultural expectations shaped the way early modern people wrote about marriage.

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Grant Details

Amount Awarded 151620
Applicant Surname Astbury
Approval Committee Medical Humanities Interview Committee
Award Date 2017-01-24T00:00:00+00:00
Financial Year 2016/17
Grant Programme: Title Research Fellowship in H&SS
Internal ID 205359/Z/16/Z
Lead Applicant Dr Leah Astbury
Partnership Value 151620
Planned Dates: End Date 2022-03-01T00:00:00+00:00
Planned Dates: Start Date 2018-09-01T00:00:00+00:00
Recipient Org: Country United Kingdom
Region East of England
Sponsor(s) Prof Lauren Kassell