Renaissance English Text Society (RETS), Vol. XXVIII
Cousins in Love: The Letters of Lydia DuGard, 1665-1672, with a New Edition of The Marriages of Cousin Germans by Samuel DuGard
This volume presents thirty-two never before published private letters from Lydia DuGard to her first cousin and future husband, Samuel DuGard. They tell a touching story about courtship and love and the daily life and thoughts of this young middle-class English woman and her family living in the late seventeenth century. The letters illustrate how a woman constructs a self within the context of certain social codes, such as accepted women's behavior, family and kin relationships, and romantic love. Another context for this love is the religious taboo of first-cousin marriages, forbidden and frowned upon in various ages of the church and defended by Lydia's clergyman-husband in a new edition of his treatise The Marriages of Cousin Germans. This volume will interest students of early modern women, courtship and marriage, the educated middle class, and religious controversy.