University of Hull logo

Adultery and impotence as literary spectacle in the divorce debates and tracts of the long eighteenth century

Capern, Amanda L.


Abstract This essay will examine the origins and emergence of the crisis that engulfed the propertied classes from the late seventeenth century onwards through an analysis of the early legal debates about matrimonial separation and the later bawdy pamphlets and divorce tracts that detailed the promiscuity and debauchery of wealthy men and women and the impotence (both sexual and social) of men whose married lives, when represented as public spectacle, threatened to tear apart the certainties of polite masculinity.

Book Type Book Chapter
Journal Spectacle, sex and property in eighteenth century literature and culture
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 72
ISBN 9780404648725
Keywords Adultery, Marriage separation, Eighteenth century


Downloadable Citations