Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis examines how the historiography of women's history and legal history with regard to later nineteenth century England have failed to interact in an appreciable way. In failing to do so a gap has gradually emerged between these two related but separate areas of historical inquiry. Women's and later gender history has tended to focus more on what women's lives were like and their roles both inside and outside the home. Legal historians and scholars in general have focused primarily on changes in marriage, divorce, and property law but they have failed to explain or show how legal reform affected or impacted the lives of women. This thesis traces the formation of this gap by focusing on the historiography of women's history and legal history with regard to marriage and divorce and partially bridges it by bringing these two related but disparate fields together. Through incorporating select primary source materials alongside the detailed historiography this study more clearly shows how legal reform and social movements cannot be studied alone and when taken together give a fuller picture of the lives of middle class women.
Mishler, Michael Beau, "Later Nineteenth Century Marriage And Divorce Law: The Changing Historiography Of The Law And British Women's History" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 1260.