Saturday August 23, 2014
The Future of Marriage Seen from 1926
by Christopher Chantrill
Eighty years ago advanced people were beginning to understand that the emancipation of women was changing the nature of marriage. What would that mean to marriage a hundred years from 1926? The London Times asked some luminaries from the arts world for their predictions about marriage. You can see their prophesies (here). Interestingly, the most sensible thinking came from Leonard Darwin, son of Charles Darwin and President of the Eugenics Education Society(!). Wrote Darwin:
My anticipations are somewhat different from my hopes. For some time to come the marriage tie will, I believe, become more lax and children brought up without the care of both parents more numerous. Childless intercourse before marriage will increase in frequency, such temporary unions being often followed by childless marriages with the same or some other partner.
Hilaire Belloc, the comic poet of Cautionary Verses, wrote this:
It would seem probable that the process of regarding marriage as a terminable contract will advance with still greater speed... There is no reason in the new scheme why a man should be compelled to support his wife any more than the wife her husband...
The question remains: which group will kill the other first?
Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.