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Living In SinCohabiting As Husband and Wife in Nineteenth-century England$
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Ginger S. Frost

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780719077364

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719077364.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 30 July 2021

Radical couples, 1850–1914

Radical couples, 1850–1914

Chapter:
(p.195) 9 Radical couples, 1850–1914
Source:
Living In Sin
Author(s):

Ginger S. Frost

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719077364.003.0010

The working-class movement turned to trade unionism and its version of domesticity, and feminists concentrated on legal equality. The radical couples unions were under greater pressure because they tried to make a point with their lives. It is noted that the rationalists of the early nineteenth century had a long legacy of marital and gender reforms, tempered by the strict morality of the mid-Victorian years. Most feminists urged that women concentrate on marriage reforms rather than trying experiments, and those who discussed sexuality emphasised male aggression rather than women's freedom. The paradoxical influence of socialism and feminism is then addressed. Anarchism critiqued the power of the state as well as capitalism. When partners did practice sexual freedom, their relationships rarely survived. The freedom of free unions was contingent on a number of factors—class, gender, generation, and, most importantly, the success of the relationship.

Keywords:   radical couples, trade unionism, legal equality, feminists, marriage reforms, socialism, feminism, anarchism, free unions, gender

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