Divorced, Beheaded, Sold: Ending an English Marriage 1500-1847

If you’re stuck for an entertaining summer read, why not try Maria Nicolaou’s Divorced, Beheaded, Sold, published by Pen & Sword History?

Pleasures of the Married State

“The Pleasures of the Married State”: a rare depiction of a happy marriage

It’s easy to make the assumption that divorce is relatively modern. Books and films tell us
that unhappy marriage was all but inescapable: Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre tries to marry Jane bigamously because he cannot divorce his insane wife. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice barely tolerate each other, but still continue to cohabit because they seem to have no other option. Even in the 1920s setting of Downton Abbey, Lady Edith’s lover Michael Gregson has to resort to moving to Germany to be able to legally divorce his current wife, and the stigma that accompanies it would be enough to destroy Edith’s life in London society. It’s therefore unsurprising that so many people have no idea about how far back the history of separation and divorce stretches. Henry VIII and his six wives are probably some of the only well-known examples in England that you can think of before the twentieth century.

Maria Nicolaou introduces us to “those who were determined to defy convention and who succeeded in escaping their marriages”, and reveals how they did so in the days before divorce was readily available – from committing bigamy to selling a wife at market. Her book is full of colorful characters and warring spouses, like Captain Blood, who bribed judges and deliberately bankrupted himself to escape giving his wife alimony; the Duke of Grafton, who hired an army of detectives to spy on his wife and obtain proof of her adultery; and Marion Jones, who recruited a gang to take back her property from her husband.

Nicolaou goes into great detail about the different ways people would end marriages, one of the most unsavory being “wife sales”: men would auction off their wives in the same way as they would auction cattle, and the purchaser would be considered the woman’s new husband. Although not technically legal, blind eyes were turned. Wife sales were still taking place as late as the early twentieth century, with one being on record from 1919.

Wife sale

From the Kentish Chronicle, 1797: “On Friday a Butcher exposed his wife to sale in Smithfield market, near the Ram Inn, with a halter about her neck, and a rope about her waist, which tied her to a railing, when a Hog-driver was the happy purchaser, who gave the husband three guineas and a crown for his departed rib, Pity it is, that there is no stop put to such depraved conduct in the lower order of people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Con Phillips

Con Phillips, circa 1748

Here at Casemate Athena, one of our favorite stories featured in the book is that of Teresia Constantia Phillips – or ‘Con’ for short, who filled a pistol with firework powder and shot at her estranged husband and a gang of his friends to prevent them entering her home at 2am. The judge was so amused by the story that she was released with no charge. Con became a notorious bigamist and courtesan, moving from husband to lover to husband to keep herself in the manner to which she had become accustomed. Buy the book to read about Con’s whole life story!

 

 

Divorced, Beheaded, Sold is available NOW on the Casemate Athena website. If you want to find out more about our books, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

If you’re interested in learning about the author herself, follow Maria Nicolaou on Twitter, and check out her post on the Pen & Sword History Blog.

Food Friday: The Healthy Lunchbox

Keep your eyes (and your carrots) peeled this September for Grub Street Publishing’s new edition of Fiona Beckett’s The Healthy Lunchbox!

According to the Government’s nutritional standards, a child’s lunch should contain at least one portion each of fruit and veg, protein (meat or alternative), dairy products and Healthy_Lunchbox_cover_PRINTstarchy food, such as bread or pasta. But a survey by the Food Standards Agency found that nine out of ten children still take packed lunches to school that contain too much saturated fat, sugar and salt.

In her foreword to the book, Fiona Beckett points out that if you make a packed lunch for your child every day up until they leave school at 16, you have made over two thousand lunchboxes. It’s understandable that after a while your creativity (and patience) may waver! As a mother herself, Fiona understands the difficulties of creating multiple lunchboxes that are interesting, appetizing and healthy. In The Healthy Lunchbox you will find ten of her favorite lunchboxes, such as “My First Lunchbox” and the “I Don’t Want to be Different” Lunchbox. She also provides information on how to plan a week’s meals on the basis of just one or two shopping expeditions, and a table with a month’s worth of suggestions for lunchboxes.

Take a look at this exclusive recipe from the book:

SUSHI SALAD

Lite Lunch

This salad would fit perfectly into the “Lite Lunch”.

The logical time to make this is after a meal with rice. Just measure off enough cooked rice for the salad and dress it with rice vinegar while it’s still warm.
Serves 3
—————————————————
Ingredients:
About 300g freshly cooked basmati rice, white or brown (125g uncooked weight)
2 tbsp Japanese seasoned rice vinegar (e.g. Mitsukan)
1/3 of a cucumber (about 125g), peeled, deseeded and diced
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 stick of celery, trimmed and finely sliced (optional)
200g can of tuna in spring water, drained and flaked
1 level tbsp toasted sesame seeds* (10g)
3-4 slices of pickled ginger (about 7g), finely chopped or a little finely grated fresh ginger (optional)
2 tbsp seaweed flakes or 1 sheet roasted nori seaweed (optional)

*To toast the sesame seeds put them in a dry pan and heat over a
moderate heat for 4-5 minutes until they begin to turn pale brown,
stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
——————————————————————————————–
Cook the rice following the instructions on the pack. Spread the
cooked rice in a shallow dish and pour over the rice vinegar. Mix in
well and leave to cool. Add the diced cucumber, spring onions, tuna,
sesame seeds and pickled ginger and seaweed flakes if using, and
toss together. If you can only find sheets of roasted seaweed, scrunch
one up in your hands, scatter the pieces over the salad and stir them
in.
——————————————————————————————–

Per average serving:
Energy 320 calories | Protein 22g | Total Fats 8g | Saturated Fats 1g | Sugars 3g | Fibre 3g | Salt 1.3g
Bonus: Low in saturated fats and a good source of protein. This recipe 
supplies Vitamin K as well as the mineral phosphorus both important for bone development.

If you decide to try this recipe for yourself, let us know via our Facebook or Twitter! If you want to follow Fiona herself to find out more about her, click here.

The book will be available on the Casemate Athena website from mid-September.

The Dark Lady Rises…

ambereley bookAmberley Publishing has released, The Dark Lady: The Woman Who Wrote Shakespeare’s Plays in the UK, and it will be available in the US for purchase from Casemate Publishers at the end of the month!

John Hudson, who is the author of The Dark Lady: The Woman Who Wrote Shakespeare’s Plays is a Shakespeare director as well! He teaches advanced and experimental Shakespeare to actors at H.B. Studios, and directs one of the world’s most innovative Shakespeare companies, the Dark Lady Players, in New York City.

This weekend, The New Perspectives Theater Company presents “The Dark Lady Rises: A Festival.” This will be a weekend of revolutionary performances and conversations by the Dark Lady Players celebrating Amelia Bassano Lanier, the first woman in England to publish a book of original poetry—and the true author of the works attributed to William Shakespeare. See below for an itinerary of the festival, and make sure to check it out if you are in NYC this weekend!

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Family Tree Friday!

Are you a genealogy enthusiast or perhaps a family historian? Do you enjoy researching about your ancestors, or are you someone just looking to get started? Pen & Sword Books publishes a great series entitled Tracing your Ancestors that can guide you through all your research. Check out the following titles within the series to get started! They are available in both print and digital formats!

 Tracing your Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians

9781844686759This accessible, well-organized, easy-to-use beginners’ guide to the world of family history is essential reading for anyone who wants to find their way into this fascinating subject. In a series of short, practical chapters Simon Fowler takes readers through all the first steps that will reveal the lives of their ancestors and the world they lived in.

Tracing your Tank Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians

9781844686643 If you want to find out about the career of a soldier who served in tanks, are researching medals awarded to a tank crew member or just want to know more about a particular regiment squadron or operation, this book will point you in the right direction.

Tracing your Labour Movement Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians 

9781844686834If you want to find out about the life of an ancestor who was active in the labor movement or was a union member, this handbook will be a fascinating introduction to the subject. Mark Crail provides a graphic and authoritative account of the history of the labor movement in Britain from the early nineteenth century to the modern day.

Tracing your Criminal Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians

 9781844686803Did you have a criminal in the family, an ancestor who was caught on the wrong side of the law? If you have ever had any suspicions about the illicit activities of your relatives, or are fascinated by the history of crime and punishment, this is the book for you.

Food Friday: Cheese Pudding

9781906502898 For this weeks Food Friday, we have a delicious recipe from Grub Street Publishing’s fantastic cookbook Marguerite Patten’s Best British Dishes.

In this book, Marguerite covers traditional  breakfasts, to high teas, from roasts to hearty soups – a collection of over 400 of her favorite recipes that show the enormous and exciting variety of British produce and cooking.

You can purchase your own copy of Marguerite Patten’s Best British Dishes here.  The eBook is also available from all major retailers.

Try out the recipe below for your next meal. It’s sure to be a family favorite!

Cheese Pudding
Cooking time: 30 Minutes • Serves 4 

This could be described as a homely version of a soufflé, for the mixture rises well and is light in texture. Choose a mature cheese to give the maximum flavor. Do not over-cook the pudding, it should be pleasantly soft and moist.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups white breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon English mustard
1/3 lb Cheddar, Cheshire, or Lancashire cheese
2/3 cup single cream
3 eggs

Heat the milk in a saucepan with the butter. Remove from the heat, add the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and mustard. Cover and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Finely grate the cheese. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 2 pint soufflé or pie dish.

Beat the cream with the eggs and strain into the breadcrumb mixture. Add the cheese. Spoon the mixture into the dish and bake for 30 minutes or until well risen and golden brown. Serve at once.

Flan Photo

Happy Birthday to Paul Cézanne

Paul Cézanne was born today in 1839. A french post-impressionist painter, Cézanne is said to have formed the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century’s new line of artistic inquiry, Cubism.

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In celebration of Paul Cézanne’s Birthday, we have created a Pinterest board to celebrate the works and quotes from this great artist. Make sure to take a look at it here.

Paul Holberton Publishing has also released two fantastic publications that examine the works and influence Cézanne had on the art world.


9781907372117Cézanne’s Card Players
Barnaby Wright

Paul Cézanne’s famous series of paintings of peasants playing cards has long been considered among his most important and powerful works. The image of seated peasants, still and seeming silent, concentrating on their game of cards, can be seen as the human counterpart to the landscapes of Cézanne’s home countryside, notably Montagne Sainte-Victoire, which held such iconic significance for him.

This catalogue accompanies a landmark exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery, London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, that will be the first to bring together the majority of these remarkable paintings alongside a magnificent group of Cézanne’s closely related portraits of Provençal peasants and rarely seen preparatory oil sketches and drawings.


9781903470848

The Courtauld Cézannes
Stephanie Buck
John House

The Courtauld Gallery holds the finest group of works by Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) in Britain. This is the catalogue to an exhibition showing the entire collection together for the first time, marking the culmination of The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 75th anniversary. The importance of the collection lies not only in its exceptionally high quality but also in its wide range, with seminal paintings and rarely seen drawings and watercolors from the major periods of the artist’s long career.

The collection includes such masterpieces as the iconic Montagne Sainte-Victoire, c. 1887 – one of the finest examples of Cézanne’s treatment of this subject – and Card Players, c. 1892–95, which show Cézanne working at the height of his powers. Through examination of such works, this book will chart the development of the artist’s revolutionary approach that would later see him acclaimed as the father of modern art.

Food Friday: Grilled Mushrooms with Garlic and Rosemary from Tapas

mushroom

For this weeks Food Friday, we have a great recipe from Elisabeth Luard’s Tapas: Classic Small Dishes from Spain.

In this book, Elisabeth demonstrates how simple ingredients can be quickly transformed into mini feasts designed to delight the senses.

Elisabeth Luard is an award-winning food writer and a winner of the much coveted Glenfiddich Trophy and is one of the most highly respected cookery writers in Britain today. She is one of the leading authorities on European food and cooking.

9781908117021

On Elisabeth Luard, William Sitwell, editor of Waitrose Food Illustrated writesL

“I think Elisabeth has the rare ability to communicate a passion and knowledge of food to the everyday cook. There are plenty of food obsessives out there, but not many who can communicate that obsession as well as she can. She brings a lifetime of knowledge to the average cook, and her writing uplifts people. You can’t help but like her. She’s a great figure in the food world that all of us love and admire.”

You can purchase your own copy of Tapas here. The eBook is also available from major retailers.

Try out this absolutely delicious recipe below at your next dinner party. It’s guaranteed to be a favorite!

Grilled Mushrooms

Grilled (broiled) mushrooms with garlic and rosemary – Click to enlarge

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth I

On this day, 455 years ago, Elizabeth Tudor was crowned Queen Elizabeth I of England. The 25-year-old daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn went on to become one of the most powerful monarchs in British History.

File:Elizabeth I in coronation robes.jpg

Elizabeth I in her coronation robes, patterned with Tudor roses and trimmed with ermine.

When Elizabeth died in 1603, the reign of the Tudor House had also ended. Spanning five Monarchs – Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I – the Tudor period had an immense impact on the religion, culture, and international relations of England.

Amberley Publishing has published a great array of titles covering all of the important players of the Tudor Era. We have gathered together some great titles from Amberley Publishing below as well as some more on our Pinterest board. Make sure to take a look at it here.

Food Friday: Harira from North African Cookery

Today we are sharing a fantastic – and delicious – soup recipe to keep you warm during these cold winter days.

9781908117304This recipe comes from Grub Street Publishing’s great book North African Cookery by Arto der Haroutunian.

In this book, Haroutunian takes adventurous cooks on a tour of the cuisines of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya in this comprehensive guide to North African food. There are over 300 recipes for traditional dishes such as tagines, stews, soups, and salads using classic ingredients such as fiery spices, jewel-like dried fruits, lemons, and armfuls of fresh herbs.

You can purchase your own copy of North African Cookery by visiting here.

Try out the recipe below and let us know how it turned out by leaving a comment or sending us a tweet @CasemateAthena. We hope you enjoy it!

Harira Soup Recipe

Harira Soup Recipe – click to enlarge

Unfixed: A solo exhibition by Meekyoung Shin

The upcoming week marks the final days of Unfixed: A solo exhibition by Meekyoung Shin at the Korean Cultural Center in London.  Ending January 18, this exhibit highlights the incredibly detailed sculptures made from soap.

photo courtesy of Anomie Publishing

photo courtesy of Anomie Publishing

This exhibit is not one to be missed. Fortunately, however, Anomie Publishing has produced a fantastic accompanying book titled Meekyoung Shin.

Meekyoung_Shin_cover_for_web6In this new release, curator Jonathan Watkins introduces Shin’s major bodies of work whilst capturing the cultural complexity, exquisite craftsmanship, conceptual elegance and natural wit embodied within them.

With essays from art scholars Ben Tufnell, Kyung An, and Jade Keunhye Lim, this publication sheds light on Shin’s major works Crouching Aphrodite (2002), Translation Series, and Written in Soap: A Plinth Project.

Illustrated with over fifty color and black and white images, this collaboration is a prefect addition to anyone’s library.

To order your own copy of Anomie Publishing’s Meekyoung Shin visit here.