Courtship In The 16th Century

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Staring into space, most readers of romance novels or romantic plays set in the 1500s imagine marital life back then as near to perfect. They wish they had such a simple life. And who would not want to marry for love with it all turning out well in the end? After all, nobody wants to ruin their marriage. Readers of old romance novels start to believe that life back then is far off from the way courtship and marriage work in the 21st century. Still, through the traditions of gift-giving, bundling and sexual intercourse, and peers arranging vital parts of the marriage ceremonies, it is realized that life back then holds surprisingly many similarities with today’s marital happenings. In the 16th century when a courtship came into a more serious stage, the giving of gifts between a man and a woman would often start. These gifts were considered to have a magical quality to them. Of such gifts a woman most favored a garter, which the woman would wear on the left leg above the knee, so others could not see it. Once the courtship ended, the woman could remove the carter to show to all those around that her relationship with the man had been serious for a while already. Sadly, not all courtships ended well. If a courtship failed, a man…show more content…
The custom of bundling in America and Europe allowed courting couples to share a bed, usually the bed of the woman, for a night so the two could get to know each other in the safety and warmth of the woman’s home. Sometimes parents placed a wooden “bundling” board between the man and woman as a precaution, though bundling often permitted kissing and fondling. Sexual intercourse, often confined to betrothed couples, was, however, usually seen as a public matter. Often, such a couple would even seek public witnesses in case a pregnancy should occur. If a pregnancy did indeed occur, the man and woman would marry as soon as

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