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Grant number: FT-229307-15

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Rachel Lisa Mesch
Yeshiva University (New York, NY 10033-3299)

French Writings on Marriage in the Belle Epoque

Summer research and writing on European History, French Literature and Gender Studies.

By the end of the nineteenth century in France, marriage was seen as a vulnerable institution, due to rapid social shifts and the legalization of divorce in 1884. However, unlike previous scholarship focused on the various threats to marriage during this time, this book argues that some of the most important responses to the perceived crisis took place within conjugal structures themselves, where shifts in gender norms hit directly up against traditional French values. Through a study of four Belle Epoque literary couples and their writings on marriage, this book will offer a series of "conjugal biographies" that bring to life the multivalent nature of the institution at a transitional moment in French history. Belle Epoque marriage emerges as a highly creative forum for experimenting with gender roles and different forms of partnership usually associated with later generations.

Project fields:
European History; French Literature; Gender Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 7/31/2015