The “E” in e-dating could readily stand for “Easy Pickin’s!”
Gone are the days when families oversaw the courtship of the younger generation. Dowries and chaperoned strolls through the park, characteristic of the 17th century, are long gone. But Andrew G. Gardner, in his Colonial Williamsburg article, Courtship, Sex and the Single Colonist, describes that even in the era of the Puritans, one third of marriages took place with a “bun in the oven.”
Jane Austen’s day was not without scoundrels who made commitments and flew the coupe, leaving the maiden in the socially unacceptable circumstance of being unmarried and pregnant. And young men frequently sought their fortune through their matches. Love often took a back seat to pragmatism and concern for the betterment of the family.
Back then, families were less transient and people knew the character of others who lived in their…
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