"The Best of None!" Spinsterhood in Nineteenth-Century New England

  title={"The Best of None!" Spinsterhood in Nineteenth-Century New England},
  author={Zsuzsa Berend},
  journal={Journal of Social History},
  pages={935 - 957}
  • Z. Berend
  • Published 1 July 2000
  • History
  • Journal of Social History
The article explores the seemingly paradoxical connection between the idealization of love and marriage and the reluctance of many women to marry in nineteenth-century New England. Arguing against interpretations that view nineteenth-century singlehood as a proto-feminist stance, it situates spinsterhood in the context of the Victorian elevation and spiritualization of love and marriage as well as of a religiously grounded understanding of morality and usefulness. Searching for vocation in the… 
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