Even though Brown is clearly in favour of marital unions, he does concede that it's not always for everyone: "Marriage is like dipping into the “lucky bag”; all parties to the game bring out something, but only a few get hold of packets that are worth much to them." Ouch.
• Are men hardwired to be less monogamous than women?As what would have been our parents’ 68th wedding anniversary approaches, I reflect not only on their being my parents, but even more so on their courtship. It’s true that theirs was an odd courtship, but historically speaking, courtship has not been without its peculiarities.It’s a quirky little story that, in an extremely condensed version, goes something like this: In 1942, Evert’s pal Jack goes to war, leaving behind pregnant wife Mary. Ruth is glad he’s there for Mary, and she imagines the little boy will soon have a father. One of the most peculiar was the custom in Colonial America of “bundling.” A practice that endured the longest in New England (oh, those Puritans), it involved an arrangement in which the male suitor would be asked to spend the night with the young lady’s family, specifically to share her bed.• Fascinating early photographs of London We've picked out the best below [Warning: some advice contains gender inequality].Brown's most important tip for all young single women is this: "The advice may be given to every reader, marry well if you can; but satisfactorily at least." Why?
In the Victorian era women were seen, by the middle classes at least, as belonging to the domestic sphere, and this stereotype required them to provide their husbands with a clean home, food on the table and to raise their children.