Filed under divorce

Polygamy In Britain

Here’s an article from yesterday’s i paper that I never thought I would read: a British man has set up a website to promote polygamy in these islands, even though this is illegal. Azad Chaiwala, the founder of and is on a quest to normalise having more than just one wife. The 33-year-old … Continue reading


Law of Coverture

This law existed in in England and North America for centuries, under which women became legally invisible when they married. Men claimed it was to ensure marital harmony, but as women became more independent, acquired skills and entered the work place, a law that gave all her money and property to her husband became increasingly … Continue reading

The Duchess Departs

Following on from the previous post, finaly in December 1674 Cosimo di Medici’s wife the Grand Duchess Margaret Louise managed to return to France, to retire to a convent at Montmartre. This is from The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert: “she saw to it that she did not go … Continue reading

Henry and Bad Timing

So much in English history seems to be a matter of timing, so it is interesting that Henry VIII could have got a divorce from the pope and kept England Catholic. Because when the letter from Henry requesting the divorce reached the then pope, Clement, he had got himself in a bit of a mess, … Continue reading

The Cost of Wife Selling

I just found some articles from volume 1of Old Yorkshire: “At the West Riding sessions of December 28, 1835… a man named Joshua Jackson was convicted of selling his wife & sentenced to imprisonment for 1 month with hard labour”

Sale of Surplus Woman

Here’s another story of how England functioned – or not – in the time before divorce was readily available. In 1814 Henry Cook of Effingham, Surrey, was forced under the Bastardy laws to marry a woman of Sliford, Sussex, and 6 months after the marriage she and her child were removed to Effingham workhouse. The … Continue reading

Lady Worsley’s Whim

I’m not bowled over by the title of this book by Hallie Rubenhold, but it is fascinating as it shines a light on many aspects of 18th century English history that have long intrigued me; the main one being how the god fearing society co-existed with the drunken reprobates. This book shows that they were … Continue reading

Popular Obscurity

I love museums, but especially unusual, obscure ones. I used to love the Bakelite Museum on the way to Dunster which is sadly no more, and in Birmingham is the wonderful Pen Museum where you get to make your own pen nib. I also used to love the Museum of Mechanical Music in Utrecht. A … Continue reading

All My Kindle Books

Here is a list of all my books all in one place. Some of them have been published in paperback, though may be under different titles. They are all on Amazon, and they are all unlike anything you will find anywhere. The Big World of Mr Bridges’ Microcosm: A Man, A clock, A world that … Continue reading

Missing: Dead Animals

Missing: Dead Animals

I just got a brilliant book from my favourite shop – The Last Bookshop on Park Street. It’s called ” Bats sing, Mice Giggle, The Surprising Science of Animals’ Inner Lives” by Karen Shanor and Jagmeet Kanwal.  I will not go into asking why so many good US academics have unusual nanes, but this book … Continue reading