Nicole Eustace The Cornerstone Of Love Analysis

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Eighteenth century love and marriage encapsulated both the publicized courtship of the seventeenth century and the private romantic conception of the nineteenth. Nicole Eustace’s article, “The Cornerstone of Love and Copious Work” addresses the present but unequal desire of marriage between the young men and women of this period. Through the analysis of surviving love letters exchanged between recurring characters, Eustace considers this distinction driven by men’s ambition to avoid the humiliating “bachelor” status and transcend into the social world of being a household master. In contrast, although women held marital interests, they preferred to remain private to reduce community pressure and the lifelong bondage of being a wife, which …show more content…
Therefore, it is important to understand that “…declarations of sentiment were inseparable from assertions of status; love and power were intimately connected.” To interpret a man’s pursuits, it is important to recognize that marriage was not only the union of husband and wife, but a contract to establish position in society. The success of a courtship was often synonymous with the victory of winning something similar of conquests or legal trials on the fields of manhood. Drawing away from the spotlight of men, she explores the “strategically mum” side of women in courting affairs. Debunking the previous belief that women seldom sent letters in response to their suitors, she discusses the great volume of letters exchanged between women. Distinct from the assertive attempts of men, women preferred to leave courtship affairs private due to the fear of society’s pressures. According to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and her book “Good Wives”, this could have been explained by the upbringing in which women resorted to their parents for all things. “…the ability of a daughter to express and perhaps even to recognize her own feelings depended upon the amount of autonomy she had been allowed in growing up. In a deferential society a young woman who had been used to following her parents’ direction might have a great difficulty in trusting her own judgement, even when invited to think for

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