This book addresses the legal difficulties posed by cohabitation and the cohabiting couples themselves, including their interaction with each other, their families and wider society. The cohabitees defined marriage as a relationship, an idea, or an act of will. Cohabitation's differences from, as well as its similarities to, marriage is a major theme of this book. The consequences of irregular cohabitation are then explored. The role of the state in defining marriage, but also partly supporting cohabitation, is explained. Additionally, this book highlights the class and gender differences. The difference between the cultural and social significance of figures such as Mary Wollstonecraft and George Eliot is illustrated.
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