Polygamy Puzzles: A New Slant on Nineteenth-Century Family History

Lecture Description

This lecture builds on Ulrich’s book “A House Full of Females” and argues that a close examination of polygamy as practiced by nineteenth-century Mormons focuses attention on broader patterns of family disruption in English and American families in the early 19th century. Although anti-Mormon propaganda celebrated women who ran away from polygamy, there are multiple stories of women who actually left legal husbands to embrace it. Situating these stories in the history of family law (and in the context of nineteenth-century fictional portrayals of marriage) helps us understand why.


Family Religion

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