The Married Widows of Cornwall

The Married Widows of Cornwall

The Story of the Wives 'left Behind' by Emigration

Book - 2018
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One of the untold stories of 19th century emigration from Cornwall is that of the thousands of wives 'left behind' by men leaving to work overseas. Known as 'married widows', these women singlehandedly managed family and homes, maintaining their husbands' interests and ties with their homeland. They are the unsung heroines of many Cornish families, especially in the mining communities. The Married widows of Cornwall brings together neglected evidence from the census, poor law records, newspapers and court cases, as well as family histories and letters, to explore the lives of these ordinary, but remarkable, women. From describing the resources they drew upon in the absence of their husbands to the challenges they presented for the authorities, this book shows the wives not simply as passive victims of emigration but active participants and influential voices in family strategies. However, from a time when married women had few rights or opportunities, poignant individual stories also highlight the risks and vulnerability of being a 'married widow'.
Publisher: Cornwall, Great Britain : Humble History, 2018.
ISBN: 9781999610401
Branch Call Number: 942.37 T755
Characteristics: v, 288 pages ; 23 cm.


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