Marriage, Consent, and Potential Misery

Highlighting Historical Romance: Today my good friend Sherry Ewing talks with us about marriage, consent and her tale of a particularly disastrous arranged marriage.


Thank you Caroline for hosting me today on your blog.

william-quiller-orchardson-british-1832-1910-e28093-the-marriage-of-convenience-300x228 Author's Blog Guest Author My latest release and series, Nothing But Time: A Family of Worth (Book One), had me researching an era that is riddled with rules by which Society was held accountable. If you have ever attempted to do research online, you know how quickly you can find yourself in a rabbit hole of information overload. My main concern for the plot of my story was the arranged marriage of my heroine to a man she would never come to love. But at the time of my novel (1808) such arrangements were only valid if both parties gave their consent.

The Marriage Act of 1753 addressed the issue of clandestine marriages that had been growing for some time and was the first legislation in England and Wales that would require a marriage ceremony. Prior to the Act, valid marriages were governed by the canon law of the Church of England. Banns would be called or a license obtained before a marriage could take place in the parish where one of the parties resided. But the absence of banns or a license didn’t necessarily mean the marriage was void. The only requirement was that the marriage be celebrated by an Anglican clergyman. “The mistaken assumption that a simple exchange of consent would suffice is based on later conflations between the theological position that consent made a marriage and the actual practice of the church courts. Prior to the passage of the 1753 Act such an exchange only created a binding contract to marry rather than a legal marriage.”


18575734_10213197355791950_1654684675_o-191x300 Author's Blog Guest Author About the Book: Nothing But Time: A Family of Worth, Book One

They will risk everything for their forbidden love…

When Lady Gwendolyn Marie Worthington is forced to marry a man old enough to be her father, she concludes love will never enter her life. Her husband is a cruel man who blames her for his own failings. Then she meets her brother’s attractive business associate and all those longings she had thought gone forever suddenly reappear.

A long-term romance holds no appeal for Neville Quinn, Earl of Drayton until an unexpected encounter with the sister of the Duke of Hartford. Still, he resists giving his heart to another woman, especially one who belongs to another man.

Chance encounters lead to intimate dinners, until Neville and Gwendolyn flee to Berwyck Castle at Scotland’s border hoping beyond reason their fragile love will survive the vindictive reach of Gwendolyn’s possessive husband. Before their journey is over, Gwendolyn will risk losing the only love she has ever known.

~an excerpt~

Gwendolyn peeked through lowered lashes at the man who had held her attention. She had not meant to be caught staring at him but she could in no way pull her gaze from his. With a single glance, her heart fell, silently crying at the injustice of it all. No man should be so handsome, nor should she experience a connection with a complete stranger clear on the other side of the room. She gazed into the depths of her tea wondering if perhaps it was laced with something that caused her infatuation with a stranger.

She had watched his companion leave their table and Gwendolyn needed to stifle a satisfied smile the moment he was left alone. His clothes suggested he was wealthy, for they were immaculate. His hair was a deep rich auburn and she could see where the light of the dining room reflected the hints of red within the depths of his locks. His eye color could not be determined from this distance but that did not matter in the least. He was the first man who had ever made her heart flip end over end. Such an emotion certainly never happened with her husband and she knew it ever would.

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18553171_10213197361752099_478387100_o-200x300 Author's Blog Guest Author About the Author

Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical & time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. Always wanting to write a novel but busy raising her children, she finally took the plunge in 2008 and wrote her first Regency. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Beau Monde & the Bluestocking Belles. Sherry is currently working on her next novel and when not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist. You can learn more about Sherry and her published work at

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2 thoughts on “Marriage, Consent, and Potential Misery

  1. Interesting article!

    I recently saw the BBC Mini-series, The Way We Live Now, based on Trollope’s book of the same name. All the various marriage plots and entanglements really made me think about consent.

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