Launch of ‘Marriage and the Irish: A Miscellany”


Posted 19th June

Following the success of Death and the Irish: a Miscellany (2016), this second volume in the series 'Birth, Marriage and Death among the Irish' explores the institution of marriage in Ireland from the seventh century to the present day.

Published by Wordwell. For more information, Please click here.

In eighty articles written by seventy-five contributors, scholars from a range of academic disciplines, including History, Art History, Celtic Studies, English Literature, Theology, Sociology, Archival Studies, and Folklore, along with practitioners working in both religious and humanist ministries, reflect on Irish marriages over the centuries, both at home and among the Irish diaspora.

Topics covered include: Early Irish law concerning marriage; secrets of the medieval Irish bed; why romantic trysts in churches had become so common in the later Middle Ages; 16 th century Irish court cases concerning impotence, drunkenness, and dowries; domestic violence in early modern Ireland; the ‘oldest bishop in Christendom’ and his eighteen-year old wife; a case of bigamy among the Irish in 17 th century Portugal; clandestine marriages; mixed marriages; a runaway romance in mid-nineteenth-century Sydney; the 19 th century honeymoon; murder at a wedding in Knocknamuckly in 1888; the tale of the aristocrat and the actress; marriages during the First World War; marriage and the introduction of the children’s allowance; marriage divination; marriage in Irish folklore; weddings among Dublin’s 20 th century Jewish community; desertion and divorce ‘Irish-style’; marriage among Presbyterian and Methodist communities in Ireland; weddings and the Travelling community; finding one’s future spouse in the Farmer’s Journal; the Woman’s Way guide to successful marriages in 1960s’ Ireland; humanist weddings; the introduction of marriage equality; and much more.

This anthology will serve as an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the social, cultural, religious and legal history of Ireland and will ensure that you will never think of Irish marriage in the same way again.

Salvador Ryan is Professor of Ecclesiastical History at St Patrick's College, Maynooth.


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