Wedlock: The True Story of the Disastrous Marriage and Remarkable Divorce of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore

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When Mary Eleanor Bowes’ father dies, she’s left one of the richest heiresses in mid-18th-century England. She cultivates her interests in botany and marries a family friend, Count Strathmore. He’s indifferent to her, and when he dies, she’s left a young, rich widow with five children. Mary, always a poor judge of character, embarks on several affairs, writes poetry, and advances her botanical knowledge. Andrew Stoney, a dashing officer, fights a duel in her honor and begs her to marry him before he dies of his wound. Mary does so, and thus begins the nightmare of her life. Stoney is a debt-ridden scoundrel who beats her and squanders her fortune. After eight years of abuse, Mary finds the courage to escape and demands a divorce in a law system where men have all the power.

Stoney would be a caricature of a scoundrel if he hadn’t actually existed. Mary’s submission at first made me cringe, but she had few resources in her day. I couldn’t put this book down, knowing it a true story of a woman who fought an uphill battle in the courts for her rights and to be free of a brutal man.

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12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award

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Publisher
,

Published

Genre

Period

Century

Price
(US) $25.95
(UK) £18.99
(CA) $30.00

ISBN
(US) 9780307383365
(UK) 9780297853312

Format
Hardback

Pages
352, 392

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