Last night I had a big long post going about Wendy Moore's historical biography titled Wedlock: The True Story of the Disastrous Marriage and Remarkable Divorce of Mary Eleanor Bowes, Countess of Strathmore. You'll just have to take my word that the post was one I was really proud of: I summarized the book masterfully and threw in the perfect amount of witticisms.** But then I went to save it and either my Internet blipped or something happened in TypePad, because all of a sudden I got kicked out of the program. Gone! All gone! And, of course, although the "back" Internet button works just fine when your boss wants to see the last twenty web pages you've looked at at work, it's no good when trying to recover blog posts--they just disappear. The skinny of the story is that I am tired and mad at the blog this morning, and so will simply dump my main thoughts about this book out there in list form.
1. I really enjoyed this book, which is about Mary Eleanor Bowes, a coal heiress in eighteenth-century Britain, who first married a title- and land-rich but cash-poor Earl (of Strathmore), endured nine years of an unhappy marriage and had five children before he died, and then was snookered into marrying a dastardly bounder named Andrew Robinson Stoney. How she was snookered is unbelievable, so I won't spoil the surprise.
2. The poor woman then spent the next decade+ of her life being knocked around and having her money spent by Stoney, before she finally had enough and tried to get a divorce. Divorce courts in the eighteenth century were not kind to women. Eventually the only people who were any help to her were her servants, many of whom went unpaid and incurred the wrath of her violent husband themselves.
3. This book needs pictures, although it ticks along at a nice pace, which historical biography sometimes struggles with (often being too detailed for my taste).
4. Let's just face it: women have never had it easy (even the rich ones).
So there you have it. Read this book, and save your work frequently when working online. That's my little public service announcement for the day.
*The irony of saying this on a blog is not lost on me.
**Not really. But it was a post and it was done, which to me constitutes the perfect post.