The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Is marriage a failure?

Is marriage a failure?

The Scottish novelist and essayist Mona Caird probed the fundamental nature of marriage in an essay titled simply 'Marriage' that was published in the Westminster Review in 1888. The debate was taken up by the Daily Telegraph, which posed the question 'Is Marriage a Failure?' to its readers. More than 27,000 of them wrote in reply and over the following months the newspaper published many of these letters.

The phrase soon entered the public consciousness and was quickly absorbed into the popular imagination. It may best be understood as a part of the response to the so-called 'New Woman' phenomenon, increasing demands for female enfranchisement and the rise of a form of a proto-feminism.

Photographed by S C Mote of 3 Amersham Road, New Cross, S E London.


Code: 122969
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