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ginny74
06-02-2007, 06:18 PM
Hi! I was just wondering what the age was that young ladies would start being courted by young gentlemen? I have read that some young ladies would be married by the age of 18, but how many years did the average lady "date"? I have been looking on the Internet, but I can't seem to find any information!:confused: It gets a bit frustrating after a while. Thank you so much!

Sarah Jane Meister
06-03-2007, 02:25 PM
There's an on-line site that has a record of marriage licenses, and there was one marriage from the 1860's that I remember had the brides age listed as 17. Other reading has led me to believe many women were married at a later age, (early to mid twenties or sometimes later) but I think that might have had to do with social status, etc. I don't know what age courting might have begun. . .a fictional account of the war in Across Five Aprils had the sister of the main character being courted when she was 14. They were a farming family from southern IL but she wasn't allowed to marry the gentleman in question until she was older.

Sarah

ElizabethClark
06-03-2007, 04:57 PM
As Sarah mentioned, most of what I'm finding points to young women marrying heavily in their 20s, not their teens. But you will find variations in that, depending on geographic location, local custom, religious tradition, social strata, economic need, and plain old rebelliousness and desire, too!

One thing to keep in mind is that the average age for female development was a later range than today's. Today, it's not unusual for a girl to reach full physical maturity by age 13 or 14. Mid-century, that process might well START at age 13 (meaning that girls in photos who look like modern girls at age 9 or 11 might actually be anywhere from 9 to 14, originally!), and be completed at age 17... and marrying off physically immature children was *not* a typical, mid-century American custom. :)

"Dating"--in the modern system of keeping company with a series of partners--isn't a concept I've seen much of in period references. Having a group of friends with whom one socializes is common, and pairing off to contemplate marriage at mature ages seems quite common, but serial monogamy doesn't seem so common in many circles (though it does appear in some.)

sbl
06-03-2007, 08:05 PM
My daughter and I were discussing whether Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher were "courting" are just playing together. There was the kissing incident where they got "engaged." I'm now sure how old Tom is in the story, perhaps 10-12 years old.

chatrbug
06-04-2007, 05:16 AM
dating is modern. courting... one would only do so after the parents were asked by the male. courting was to get to know the person more, you didnt court a lot of men or women. and then it wasnt as easy as it is now. calling cards were given out and then accepted (or not). courting didnt mean they went out to the movies :), they basically stayed at home around the parents (and this was mainly done in the ladies house). try this link http://www.osv.org/education/LessonPlans/ShowLessons.php?UnitID=&LessonID=32&PageID=P

ElizabethClark
06-04-2007, 09:28 AM
With all the variety in society at mid-century, I don't anticipate being able to define one overriding system for getting men and women to marriage. Certainly, inner-city lower-working-class social structure permitted things that the early-20s daughter of a Methodist minister would not be permitted (children outside of wedlock, living together rather than marriage, etc), and a young man who wants to take up a homestead on the western frontier (after the Homestead Act) might be eager and ready to set himself up with a wife and family in order to claim a larger plat as the head of the househole--but he can also (presumably) provide for that family. Calling cards didn't feature heavily in farm society or inner cities... :)

So perhaps, rather than looking for one "rule" to follow, it would be useful to find out more about Ms Pendleton's potential impression (if the information was for personal use)... what area of the country, what the family background might be, etc.

And, of course, just because a girl is not of "courting age" (which will vary depending on all those factors of territory, background, religion, etc) doesn't mean she doesn't have any social activities. Attending a neighborhood dancing party is just going to party with the family. A girl of 14 might dance with her dad, or uncle, or the older brother of a friend, and it not be remarkable at all. A girl of 18 might do the same, as could a girl of 10... and none would be thought to be "courting" or looking for a husband by default. A boy of 18 might ask a girl of 16 to go for a skate at the community pond with the rest of the "gang", and it not have any more significance than if the girl's best girlfriend had asked her. Tom could kiss Becky, and "play court", and everyone around will know that, because of their childhood status, they are playing, not seriously considering marriage at 13.

RebeccaMI
06-04-2007, 09:06 PM
Sarah, do you happen to have the link to that site? Along the same lines as the question asked by the original poster, I wonder at what age a woman was considered an "old maid" or a "spinster" if she wasn't married. Nowadays some people seem to have the idea that if you're not married by 30 it's all too late for you and you might as well adopt 93 cats and become an old weirdo. (Not that I put much stock in that idea, but my 28th birthday is coming in a few days and I'm just wondering how I would have fared in the eyes of my peers back then).

Sarah Jane Meister
06-04-2007, 09:54 PM
Rebecca, the link to a lot of marriage licenses is:
http://www.hchsmd.org/marriages.htm

I think the licenses range from the 1850's - 1930's, and they aren't arranged chronologically so you have to look through them to find the dates you are interested in. But, it's one of the few free sites I've found that actually has the age of the bride and groom listed, as opposed to just their names and wedding date.

93 cats! :eek: I'm a cat lover but even so that's a bit much. :)

Sarah

LadyTopaz
06-05-2007, 06:17 AM
A docent at one of the houses in Vicksburg was talking about the mistress of the house and she said when the lady came to live at the house as a married woman she was 13. I can't remember the house name or the girls name that went to live there.

I think it was pretty much up to the family when they let a daughter marry. If the family needed the money they probably let her go WAY before she was ready.


Crystal

ElizabethClark
06-05-2007, 09:48 AM
It sounds like that particular historic person may have been an aberration... details on the house or woman might be handy, as then we could research her and find out if the docent was actually passing on good information, or Docent Lore (which is often radically not-true, but the docents themselves are just passing on things they've been told, and aren't out to deliberately deceive.)

I'm curious for more information on your last statement--why would a family marry off a child if they needed income? "Bride Price" and doweries are not a big feature of American mid-century society, based on what I've read the past several years. Traditionally, a dowery belongs to the bride herself, in her new marriage--not to her husband. It's her portion of the household wealth, and laws may require it to be maintained for her, against future widowhood or calamity.

If the family is in dire need of income, it's far, far more likely they will hire out the child, into service or factory work, as then the parents are legally entitled to the child's wages each week, and in certain situations, would be relieved of the child's maintenance as well (one less mouth to feed, but the absent mouth is sending home a pay packet!)

bizzilizzit
06-05-2007, 10:44 AM
I'm curious for more information on your last statement--why would a family marry off a child if they needed income? "Bride Price" and doweries are not a big feature of American mid-century society, based on what I've read the past several years. Traditionally, a dowery belongs to the bride herself, in her new marriage--not to her husband. It's her portion of the household wealth, and laws may require it to be maintained for her, against future widowhood or calamity.

Perhaps the young lady married into a wealthy family, in which case, her new husband would be able to provide for his young bride's family.

bizzilizzit
06-05-2007, 10:51 AM
Sarah, do you happen to have the link to that site? Along the same lines as the question asked by the original poster, I wonder at what age a woman was considered an "old maid" or a "spinster" if she wasn't married. Nowadays some people seem to have the idea that if you're not married by 30 it's all too late for you and you might as well adopt 93 cats and become an old weirdo. (Not that I put much stock in that idea, but my 28th birthday is coming in a few days and I'm just wondering how I would have fared in the eyes of my peers back then).

I belive you would be in the "old maid" classification at 28. Girls were considered "old" at 25. But, I guess if you were twenty-five, you might not consider that so old. It was not unheard of for women to marry for the first time in latter years. Those who chose not to lived with other ladies in the same situation, some for financial reasons, others for companionship.
Most middle-class girls started courting at 16 and would marry between 18 and 24. Many factors can come into play here to knock those numbers out the window. Girls "matured" around 15, so courting before you were physically ready to have chidlren was frowned upon. FYI - legal age of consent for girls was 10 - 12, dependng on where you lived.

Emmanuel Dabney
06-05-2007, 11:23 AM
Decided to shed some light on this issue by sharing some marrying ages; some well before the Civil War and others in the antebellum period.

1. Mary Eppes to Benjamin Cocke married in 1821. She was 37.
2. Josephine Horner to Richard Eppes (the son of Benjamin Cocke and Mary Eppes Cocke) in 1850. She was 24.
3. Elizabeth Horner (sister of aforementioned Josephine who died in 1852) to Richard Eppes. She was 22.
4. Mary Custis to Robert E. Lee in 1831. She was 23.
5. Sarah Knox Taylor to Jefferson Davis in 1835. She was 21.
6. Varina Howell to Jefferson Davis in 1845. She met him when she was 17 and they were married when she was 19.
7. Samuel Cooper to Sarah Maria Mason in 1827. She was 26.
8. Catherine Eilbeck Mason to Cacilius Coudon Jamison in 1847. She was 43 (and yes it was her first marriage). First child born when she was 44 and the second child she was 46
9. Eliza Margaretta Chew to James Murray Mason in 1822. She was 24.

So from those 9 marriages of people famous and not...most of the women married after 18 and before the age of 25. But some did not as is the cases of Mary (Eppes) Cocke, Maria (Mason) Cooper, and Catherine E. (Mason) Jamison.

bizzilizzit
06-05-2007, 11:50 AM
Another to add to the list:
Teresa Sickels married Dan when she was 16 and he was 32.

hanktrent
06-05-2007, 11:53 AM
FYI - legal age of consent for girls was 10 - 12, dependng on where you lived.

The following is from Ministers Pocket Ritual, by Hiram Mattison, 1864. It looks like the common law age of consent in the U.S. was 12 for females, unless changed by statute.


The age at which the parties may contract marriage, with the consent of their parents or guardians, differs somewhat in the several States. In New York a marriage may be annulled, in certain cases, where the female is under fourteen at the time of the marriage. In Wisconsin males may marry at the age of eighteen and females at fifteen. In other States: Virginia, 14 and 12; Ohio, 18 and 14. The common-law rule which fixes the age at 14 and 12, prevails in Massachusetts. The age is left in the same way in the State of New York, that is, at 14 and 12, upon the rule of the common-law; but this is only where parents or guardians consent. But to marry a minor without such consent, is not only doing as no minister would like to be done by, but is also to expose the administrator to a suit for civil damages, if nothing more. Marriage should never be celebrated, therefore, between parties younger than 18 and 21 respectively, unless by the explicit consent of their parents or guardians.

The average age of marriage of course was higher. "It appears from the recent statistics in England, that the average age of marriage of maidens is there 24 30/100; whereas, from these annual reports of the secretary, it is to be inferred, that in Massachusetts the average age of maidens at their marriage is about 23 30/100." That's from an article in the 1845 North American Review.

For comparison, this website has some statistics and historical trends on age of marriage today and in the very late 19th and 20th centuries. http://www.pobronson.com/factbook/pages/25.html According to it, the average age for women's first marriage in the U.S. in 2003 was 25.3.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

LadyTopaz
06-05-2007, 11:58 AM
Ok I looked it up it was Cedar Grove Mansion.
And I was mistaken she was 16 and he was 30 when they wed. They met when she was alot younger.
Her name was Elizabeth Bartley Day.




Crystal

hanktrent
06-05-2007, 12:32 PM
Here's something funny, but I believe only a coincidence. Still, it cracked me up, because the men were chosen at random for other reasons, and I didn't know about their wives until I researched them.

Last year, I portrayed a fictional person based loosely on a real, very wealthy Ohioan, William Starling Sullivant.

He married three times, first when he was 21 to a 16-year-old, next when he was 31 to a 17-year-old, and then when he was 48 to an 18-year-old.

So time passed, with lots of portrayals in between, but this year, once again I portrayed a very wealthy Ohioan, Col. F. F. Remple.

He married twice, first when he was about 29 to a 17-year-old, and next when he was about 41 to a 17-year-old.

Apparently wealthy Ohio men had the hots for teenage girls, no matter how old they got. :p

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

bizzilizzit
06-05-2007, 12:34 PM
[QUOTE=hanktrent]The following is from Ministers Pocket Ritual, by Hiram Mattison, 1864. It looks like the common law age of consent in the U.S. was 12 for females, unless changed by statute.

I was speaking of sexual consent, not marriage.

Sarah Jane Meister
06-05-2007, 03:51 PM
Where can I find more information on the age of sexual consent in the 1860's? I can hardly imagine a 10 year old child even thinking about, let alone desiring to "consent" to physical intercourse. Of myself, my friends, my sisters and my sisters friends who are over the age of 10 they have not started physically developing until at least that age if not later - sometimes years later. Mrs. Clark has noted that girls didn't start to mature until a later age than they do presently, and it's horrifying for me to think of a little ten or twelve year old going through that, someone who would do that to a child so young is nothing short of a pedophile. I just want to clarify this age consent thing because it seems so strange to me. :)

Sarah

bizzilizzit
06-05-2007, 03:59 PM
Where can I find more information on the age of sexual consent in the 1860's? I can hardly imagine a 10 year old child even thinking about, let alone desiring to "consent" to physical intercourse. Of myself, my friends, my sisters and my sisters friends who are over the age of 10 they have not started physically developing until at least that age if not later - sometimes years later. Mrs. Clark has noted that girls didn't start to mature until a later age than they do presently, and it's horrifying for me to think of a little ten or twelve year old going through that, someone who would do that to a child so young is nothing short of a pedophile. I just want to clarify this age consent thing because it seems so strange to me. :)

Sarah

I'll look at some of my books on Prostitution when I get home. Men liked young girls because A. if they hadn't matured into a woman, they couldn't get pregnant B. they younger they were, the least likely they would be to have VD C. there was a popular belief that a virgin's pure blood could cure a man of VD - rapes were not uncommon of female children among the lower class by middle and upper class men. Many went unreported for reasons too numerous to mention here. Pre-teens were so popular in the brothels that girls were "taught" to fake virginity because virgins could command much higher prices - the girls were "traded" between brothels in various cities so frequent customers wouldn't catch on.
Elizabeth

Sarah Jane Meister
06-05-2007, 04:38 PM
I did a little internet-browsing on the subject and it seems like the ages of consent were pretty young, couldn't find out the exact date for this but it said the age of consent in Deleware was 7! Many sites I visited said the age of consent was raised to 18 in most states by the 1920's, after the effort of late-19th century reformers who were appalled at the low age of consent in many states around the country.

Sarah

bizzilizzit
06-05-2007, 08:41 PM
I'll look at some of my books on Prostitution when I get home.

Though my resources are vast, most are out of reach, unless I tear apart two closets and spend the better part of a weekend rereading them. I did review a dozen or so books and will post what I found, which touch on the subject at hand.
Elizabeth

bizzilizzit
06-05-2007, 08:42 PM
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:3YUpflWjWfcJ:www.wickedness.net/els/els1/dcruze%2520paper.pdf+Vulnerability+and+the+age+of+ female+consent&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=safari

Victorian legislation

When Victoria came to the throne, the age of consent for girls was effectively 10.
The 1861 Offences against the Person Act was a major consolidating statute, part of the
procession of legislation that Weiner sees as a sea change in the disciplining of men’s
violence in Victorian England.
Section 48 reiterated the crime of rape as a felony.
Overall this act was concerned with physical violence, and this association as well as the
expectation of demonstrable ‘resistance’ underlined a legal understanding of sexual
violence as physical violence. The context of the clauses prohibiting sex-with-minors was
therefore one preoccupied with violence in its most legible form. In enacting that it was
‘no offence to have sexual intercourse with a girl under 12 who ‘freely consented’
however ignorant’, the 1861 Act maintained the age of consent at 10, two years before
the age of valid marriage. Consent (from a 10 year old) thus negatived violence.
Although ‘carnal knowledge’ with girls under 10 was a felony, evidence of ‘valid
consent’ by such a girl effectively meant that the charge was reduced to the misdemeanour of ‘attempted carnal knowledge’.
If consent, which presumably enabled carnal knowledge to be the more fully gained, result in a charge of the attempt rather than the accomplishment, the legal position seems to have been that force could procure consent from girls under 10 as much as from adult women. So did such force (once negatived by consent) still amount to violence?
The Contagious Diseases Acts of the 1860s focused on the adult woman prostitute and
sought to regulate this ‘social evil’ through medicalized disciplinary technologies.
Campaigners drew attention to the violence of the speculum. These laws implicitly
acknowledged prostitution as a necessary outlet for the sexual imperatives of [initially,
though of course not exclusively] the military – a potentially disorderly male population
with a significant working-class component. The furore about child prostitution of the
1880s however, had as its legislative outcome in the Criminal Law Amendment Act of
1885, a raising of the age of consent to 16.

Elizabeth

bizzilizzit
06-05-2007, 08:43 PM
L. Anna Ballard, M.D.
Pioneer Woman Doctor in Lansing, Michigan

Edited by D La Pierre Ballard
Copyright (c) 2000-2002 by D La Pierre Ballard
12-MAR-2004
http://balcro.com/anna.html

The following is a speech which L. Anna Ballard delivered in 1887
to a joint meeting of the Judiciary Committee of the Michigan
Legislature.

…The law reflects the sentiment of the people in regard to its
sacredness of property. Is the property of a girl during her minority
Page .4. 12-MAR-2004
more sacred to the State than her person? Is wealth of more value to
the State than virtue? Which should be the best guarded to secure the
highest good of the race? A father dies and leaves to his daughter of
14 years a small property. Does the State presume that she is capable
of taking care of that property and leave her to use it as her own
feelings and judgments dictate. Not at all! It appoints a guardian,
and it hedges about that guardian by penalties for misuse of this
property. Do you suppose that fewer guardians misappropriate the
moneys in their hands because of such laws? Why does the State thus
hedge about and protect the property of your daughters? Because it
holds that she is not capable of fully realizing consequences or of
resisting influences, and therefore by its penalties it protects the
guardian from temptation as well as the property from misuse. If your
girl of 14 is not capable of realizing the consequences of the misuse
of her property, is she capable of realizing the consequences of the
misuse of her person? and is she capable of resisting unwise
influences that may play upon her immature emotions? If it is wisdom
to protect her property during what it pleases to call her minority,
is it not greater wisdom to protect her virtue, by laying penalties
upon the one who violates it?

But we will suppose your daughter is between 14 and 18 years of age.
She is coming in contact with the outside world. She knows nothing of
herself. The boy of 16 is far more wise in knowledge of himself and of
the ways of the world than the girl of the same age. She is, however,
confident in her trust in herself. She is equally trustful of others,
and believes every fair word. Her physical organization is passing
through that delicate process of development in which new energies and
emotions are awaking. She knows not her power and is not liable to use
it, but she is very susceptible of influence. There is much talk of
fixing the "age of consent" at 14 years, because young people come
into their development at this age. What a mistake. Rather the
development begins then. No stage of physical development is abrupt.
It is a gradual unfolding, and only in its maturity is it fully
capable of discharging its functions. Any influence that forces
development hastens decay. Has the State no responsibility in the
development of her young people? We believe it should be the aim of
the State to aid the home incluence by protecting the young people
until they develop into the strength and beauty of true manhood and
womanhood.

This law upon the "age of consent" has rested unmolested upon the
statute books of this State for fifty years…

bizzilizzit
06-05-2007, 08:44 PM
The Marriage, or Natural History of Generation; A private Instructor for Married Persons and Those About to Marry, Both Male and Female… by Frederick Hollick, M.D. NY 1860
Pg 351 – 352
Proper Age For Marriage
The proper age for marriage cannot always be determined by the number of years the individual has lived, some being fully as much developed at fourteen or fifteen as others are at seventeen or eighteen…
A female who delays marriage till after twenty-eight is liable to many uterine derangements, and runs more risk during childbirth than even at a very early age. Perhaps it may be said with propriety, that it is better for a female to marry before she is twenty-four, and not until she has turned at least fifteen, or better still sizteen or seventeen. The medium age of eighteen being esteemed the most desirable by experienced Physiologists. Much, however, will depend, as before stated, upon the development of the system, and upon the inclination. Mothers ought to be able to tell whether the development is such, in every respect, as to make marriage allowable or not, and it should be their esteemed duty to ascertain such an important fact…
The proper age for the male is from twenty to twenty-five. ..

Spinster
06-09-2007, 11:54 PM
In looking back into my own family line, there is a discernable pattern---unless interrupted by some large influence, the women tended to marry right at 20, throughout the 19th century, and into the late 20th century. The families were consistently farmers of reasonable means, from isolated Appalachian areas, until they began to disperse after WWI.

Here are the large influences:

A bride at 13 at a frontier fort in Texas---the rest of the family moved on west immediately as spring broke, while she stayed behind with her new husband. (This family did a 'gone to Texas' in the wake of a scandal just after the Civil War)

The Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI and WWII all see brides at 17 and 18.

One WWI bride was 14, but her father was extremely distraught at the prospect. He threatened to disown her when she first attempted to marry at 13, and barely managed to hold her off another year, when the WWI draft intervened. Said couple were married 80 years when the husband died.

Two WWI brides reported early marriages for the specific purpose of enabling the groom to avoid the draft.

One of of the WWII brides relates her parents repeatedly taking her to the doctor to discuss some 'problem' that was a mystery to her. Her first menstrual period occured, and her parents consented to the marriage two months later, at 17. While the other WWII brides were not quite as ignorant, 3 reported menarch at 16.

hanktrent
06-10-2007, 06:14 AM
Speaking of courting, I happened to be reading a novel written in 1869 and published the following year, which begins with something of a relevant discussion.

In the first couple of chapters, two young men in the country go out to a party to meet girls, and there are several different viewpoints: the shy boy Joseph, the outgoing boy Elwood, the city girl, the country girls, how they flirt and how they respond to different flirting styles.

The talk about girls and falling in love begins about page 7 when the two single men, in their early twenties, are riding to the party which starts on page 11. The social setting I'd say is middle to upper class for a rural countrified area.

The book is Joseph and His Friends by Bayard Taylor, online at http://books.google.com/books?id=nVhXDvlur30C&pg=PA1

Here's a spoiler, which may or may not affect how one reads the first chapter. Don't read it if you don't want to know...
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Joseph turns out to be gay and finds his true love with a man who's introduced later in the novel.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

bizzilizzit
06-10-2007, 03:14 PM
Where can I find more information on the age of sexual consent in the 1860's? I can hardly imagine a 10 year old child even thinking about, let alone desiring to "consent" to physical intercourse. Sarah

“On the other hand, young men were depicted and described as seducers. With a consent age of 14 for males and 10-12 for females in these decades, sex with “women” even before the onset of menarche (variously estimated at 14-15 in 1835) was not statutorily prohibited, further confounding definitions of adulthood, consent, seduction or morality among the young…On the one hand, (women) were at risk for seduction or rape, particularly if in domestic service, the ‘respectable work’ most often urged on them by reformers. On the other hand, young women between 15 and 20 were the “whoreacracy,” the seducers of youth, the sewers…into which [male] society poured its corruption and which ‘it’ in turn spewed forth to corrupt generations yet unborn.”
Page 128
Theatre Culture in America, 1825 – 1860 by Rosemarie K. Bank 1997

Elizabeth

Linda Trent
06-10-2007, 05:11 PM
So from those 9 marriages of people famous and not...most of the women married after 18 and before the age of 25.

Okay, you all had me curious so I went back and checked my own family. From the latter 18th century through the Civil War generation the results were as follows.

Men married between the ages of 22 and 27. I have NO men marrying before the age of 22 whether peacetime or wartime. One, a professional educator married for the first time at the age of 31.

Women married between the ages of 18 and 25 with the largest majority around 22-24 years of age, again none marrying under 18, one who was a house-keeper didn't marry until 44 and had no children of her own. My WWI grandmother married at 16 and had to have her father sign the license showing his approval.

The above statistics come from Western New York state influential farm family; Dayton, Ohio industrialist family; early NE Ohio farmers, and mid 19th century rural SE Ohio farmers. Statistics cover 15 men and 15 women. I have several others that I could do, but I really don't want to get into all that right now.

I just completed my family history yesterday and will be sending it to the publisher next week. Thirty seven years worth of research and fully footnoted and documented. Perhaps you can see why I'm just a tad tired of looking at it right now. :rolleyes:

Linda

uozumi
07-04-2007, 07:25 PM
I know the Regency Era was about 40 years before this time but the book and documentary Regency House Party give a lot of courting information of that time I am sure it can't be so much different if only to give a guideline. You'll atleast know what the Civil War era practices derived from.

http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/R/regencyhouse/


http://www.amazon.com/Regency-House-Party-TV-Tie/dp/0316726583/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/002-0948914-8636829?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183598799&sr=8-2

fifthnycav
07-10-2007, 08:18 AM
If any of you have read the book victorian house, there is an exerpt from a young woman's diary in which she discusses her serious male suitors, her invovment with them, her fathers involvment with them, and how it went that they eventually didn't work out. She speaks about 2 suitors the first she met in a more traditional way, and the 2nd she met while on a family vacation. The first she documents as her first real male interest is a 26 year old man she meets as a party while she is 14. The second is a 34 year old man she meets at a hotel when she is 18. So generally from what I have read over the years, women tended to not marry until their late teens and early twenties, but began recieving male interest as young teenagers.

uozumi
07-30-2007, 03:19 PM
http://www.ladiesofreenacting.com/Victorianromance.html

This site has a bit of information about period reading material on courting and marriage.

ElizabethClark
07-31-2007, 04:30 PM
The site referenced makes some pretty sweeping statements that I don't find really hold up under wider reading of the mid-century. The only actual reference shared is from 1897... not exactly our era, and not all things translate back.