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Vol 23 No 4 April/May 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Williams, Mortimer and Sunnucks: Executors, Administrators and Probate

Williams, Mortimer and Sunnucks: Executors, Administrators and Probate

Edited by: Alexander Learmonth, Charlotte Ford, Julia Clark, John Ross Martyn
Price: £295.00

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UK Public Holiday Monday 28th May

Wildy's will be closed on Monday 28th May, re-opening on Tuesday 29th.

Online book orders received during the time we are closed will be processed as soon as possible once we re-open on Tuesday.

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Any Sweet & Maxwell or Lexis eBook orders placed after 4pm on the Friday 25th May will not be processed until Tuesday May 29th. UK orders for other publishers will be processed as normal. All non-UK eBook orders will be processed on Tuesday May 29th.

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Married Women and the Law: Coverture in England and the Common Law World

Edited by: Tim Stretton, Krista J. Kesselring

ISBN13: 9780773542976
Published: December 2013
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Country of Publication: Canada
Format: Paperback
Price: £24.99



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Explaining the curious legal doctrine of "coverture," William Blackstone famously declared that "by marriage, husband and wife are one person at law."

This "covering" of a wife's legal identity by her husband meant that the greatest subordination of women to men developed within marriage. In England and its colonies, generations of judges, legislators, and husbands invoked coverture to limit married women's rights and property, but there was no monolithic concept of coverture and their justifications shifted to fit changing times: Were husband and wife lord and subject? Master and servant? Guardian and ward? Or one person at law?

The essays in Married Women and the Law offer new insights into the legal effects of marriage for women from medieval to modern times. Focusing on the years prior to the passage of the Divorce Acts and Married Women's Property Acts in the late nineteenth century, contributors examine a variety of jurisdictions in the common law world, from civil courts to ecclesiastical and criminal courts.

By bringing together studies of several common law jurisdictions over a span of centuries, they show how similar legal rules persisted and developed in different environments. This volume reveals not only legal changes and the women who creatively used or subverted coverture, but also astonishing continuities. Accessibly written and coherently presented, Married Women and the Law is an important look at the persistence of one of the longest lived ideas in British legal history.