Breach of Promise to Marry

A History of How Jilted Brides Settled Scores

Denise Bates

Date Published :
April 2014
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
10-20 Illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781783030361

Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 208
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'The marriage day was fixed, the wedding dresses were bought, the wedding tour was planned out, the wedding guests were invited. The day came but not the bridegroom...'

While Dickens' embittered spinster Miss Havisham stopped all her clocks on her wedding day and 'never since looked upon the light of day', the reality was much brighter for thousands of jilted women. The real Miss Havisham's didn't mope in faded wedding finery – they hired lawyers and struck the first 'no-win, no fee' deals to sue for breach of promise.

From the 1790s right up to the 1960s, jilted women (and sometimes rejected suitors) employed a range of tactics to bring false lovers to book. Denise Bates uncovers over 1,000 forgotten cases of women who found very different endings to their fictional counterparts:

Mary Ann Smith forged evidence of a courtship to entrap an Earl. Catherine Kempsall shot the man who denied their engagement, Gladys Knowles was awarded a record £10,000 in damages by a jury in 1890, Daisy Mons discreetly negotiated a £50,000 settlement from a Lord

Based on original research, this social history of breach of promise shows that when men behaved badly hell had no fury like a woman scorned!

About The Author

Historian and writer Denise Bates used old newspapers extensively when researching her first two books, Pit Lasses and Breach of Promise to Marry and the new information she discovered added greatly to the existing knowledge about both subjects. Historical Research Using British Newspapers draws on her extensive practical experience of using old newspapers as source material.

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