Guardian Books Page: Leap Year Special




From Bathsheba....

Today’s entry appears over at the Guardian website, and is a special for 29th February. It’s the day when women can traditionally propose marriage to men, and although there doesn’t seem to be many women-led proposals, in real life or in books, I took a look at women who make their move, who know what they want, and who set out to get their man. From the Wife of Bath to Bridget Jones, they’re not waiting round to say ‘Oh this is so sudden!’

This is part of the article:
You might expect that as the world loosened up in the 60s and 70s there would be more occurrences of women proposing in fiction, but that didn’t happen. Young people had other choices now – premarital sex, de facto living arrangements – and marriage became less of an end in itself. Writers like Margaret Drabble, Iris Murdoch and AS Byatt wrote about women who wanted more out of life: love and marriage had their place, but so did careers, knowledge and children. Angela Carter’s fiction was full of women who were constrained by their time and position, but found a way to do what they wanted; again, marriage wasn’t high on that list.

Read more here at the Guardian.



.... to Bridget Jones 

Comments

  1. I absolutely loved your article, Moira!! Such a great topic and some great characters. I'm all for women doing their share of the asking. I mean, I asked my husband out for our first date and it's worked out...

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    1. Thanks Margot, and thanks for sharing that little gem - glad it worked out so well for you!

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  2. Bridget Jones....someone I had hoped I'd heard the last of...

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    1. Never... as long as Clothes in Books lives!

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  3. Very good article. Enjoyed reading it.

    But I must say: Cheers to the Women's Liberation Movement!

    I'm so glad so many women have personal choices now and can decide how to live their own lives and be true to themselves.
    Perhaps not all can and not everywhere, but for those who can, brava!

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    1. Exactly - both parties in any relationship should be free to suggest going to the next stage. And yes - all we true believers ever want is choice, and freedom and a happy life for all....

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  4. And that means the right to be single, including having or adopting children; getting divorced; being part of an extended family; being gay; living abroad, becoming a writer, artist or musician at any given time, going back to school, as my mother did in going to college when I was in high school. The full gamut of choices, harder in some countries than others.

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    1. Absolutely, totally agree with you Kathy.

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  5. Nice article and I am surprised there are so few women asking men to marry them. I wonder how many couples just decide to marry by mutual agreement. That is how it happened in both of my marriages. Neither one of us asked, we just assumed "of course we will be getting married."

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    1. I'd be with you on that, Tracy, I can't imagine anything except deciding together, but a lot of people think differently, people still like proper proposals...

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