Maureen Waller - Hodder & Stoughton

Maureen Waller



Maureen Waller read Medieval & Modern History at University College, London and took a Masters at Queen Mary College, London. She is the author of several books including London 1945 and Sovereign Ladies. She lives in London.
Books currently available by this author

Date published: New > Old

John Murray

The English Marriage

Maureen Waller
Authors:
Maureen Waller

The story of the English marriage is unique and eccentric. Long after the rest of Europe and neighbouring Scotland had reformed their marriage laws, England clung to the chaotic and contradictory laws of the medieval Church, making it all too easy to enter into a marriage but virtually impossible to end an unhappy one. If England was a 'paradise for wives' it could only have been through the feistiness of the women. Married women were placed in the same legal category as lunatics. While Englishmen prided themselves on their devotion to liberty, their wives were no freer than slaves. It was a husband's jealously guarded right to beat his wife, as long as the stick was no bigger than his thumb. Only after 1882 could a married woman even retain her own property. But then marriage was all about property in a society which was both mercenary and violent, where a girl was virtually sold into marriage and a price was put on a wife's chastity. With a cast of hundreds, from loyal and devoted wives in troubled times to those who featured in notorious trials for adultery, from abusive husbands whose excesses were only gradually curbed by the law to the modern phenomenon of the toxic wife, acclaimed historian Maureen Waller draws on intimate letters, diaries, court documents and advice books to trace the evolution of the English marriage. It is social history at its most revealing, astonishing and entertaining.

John Murray

Sovereign Ladies

Maureen Waller
Authors:
Maureen Waller

In the last millennium there have been only six female sovereigns: Mary I and Elizabeth I, Mary II and Anne, Victoria and Elizabeth II, who celebrated her eightieth birthday in 2006. With the exception of Mary I, they are among our most successful monarchs. Without Mary II and Anne, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 might not have taken place. Elizabeth I and Victoria each gave their name to an age, presiding over long periods when the country made significant progress in the growth of empire, prestige and power. All of them have far-reaching legacies. Each faced personal sacrifices and emotional dilemmas in her pursuit of political power. How to overcome the problem of being a female ruler when the sex was considered inferior? Does a queen take a husband and, if so, how does she reconcile the reversal of the natural order, according to which the man should be the master? A queen's first duty is to provide an heir to the throne, but at what cost? In this richly compelling narrative, Maureen Waller delves into the intimate lives of England's queens regnant in delicious detail, assessing their achievements from a female perspective.

Sceptre

1700 : Scenes from London Life

Maureen Waller
Authors:
Maureen Waller

More than a capital city, Londoners had witnessed the unthinkable - the public execution of a king at Whitehall. Thousands had died in the Plague of 1665, then the Great Fire of 1666. But from the ashes rose a modern city, rebuilt with the shining dome of Christopher Wren's St Paul's Cathedral, symbolising a new strength and confidence. London, with a population of over half a million, was now Europe's largest, richest and most cosmopolitian city. Maureen Waller describes a familiar yet alien world. Using anecdotes, detail and amusing contrasts, she draws on court records newspapers, and recorded eyewitness accounts to create a vividly colourful vision. of a city at a unique moment in its history.