‘Improbable That We Should Agree in the Choice of Husbands’: Love, Marriage and Silences
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This chapter explores the themes of love and marriage. I start off by discussing Bodichon’s most relevant works on these topics: most notably A Brief Summary (1854) and Women and Work (1857). I analyse the significance of epistolary networks in offering Bodichon an intimate space of dialogical self-understanding and self-definition where she verbalized her say on married life and worked out her autonomy within her own marriage and nomadic lifestyle. I next move on to explore the silences in Bodichon’s personal correspondence. I argue that human intentionality and archival hazards are responsible for offering us today an incomplete epistolarium. These gaps, fragmentary chunks of data and flimsy evidence preclude any conclusive assertions. Instead of viewing this fragmentation and incompleteness as a handicap, I argue that, notwithstanding, silences can also be turned into a meaningful source of information about love and marriage and thus are methodologically relevant.