Jennifer Phegley - Courtship and Marriage in Victorian England

All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 1, in observance of Labor Day.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day: UMKC’s Jennifer Phegley provides insights into Victorian “dating” and wedding practices that continue to be embraced by modern brides and grooms…and asks if the Victorians’ ideas about romantic have left us with unhealthy expectations.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
6:30pm @ Central Library

Jennifer Phegley, chair of the Department of English at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, examines how many of our modern marriage traditions – including wedding dresses and honeymoons – have their roots in the Victorian era.

Readers' Contest!
Write a personal ad
for your favorite character from Victorian literature to win a copy of Jennifer's book and a box of Christopher Elbow chocolates!

Today’s internet dating even has predecessors in Victorian personal ads in newspapers, matrimonial agencies, and courtship correspondence groups.

Phegley draws on little-known conduct books, domestic guidebooks, letters, and novels to reveal the Victorian versions of “dating” and “tying the knot.” And she points out that Victorian ideas of romance may have left us with unrealistic expectations about finding our “soulmates.”

Watch the video
Listen to the audio