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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: October ::
Re: Hamlet and Marriage Practices
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1675  Monday, 4 October 1999.

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Saturday, 02 Oct 1999 15:10:03 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1667 Re: Hamlet and Marriage Practices

[2]     From:   Dana Shilling <
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        Date:   Saturday, 2 Oct 1999 20:56:08 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.1667 Re: Hamlet and Marriage Practices


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Saturday, 02 Oct 1999 15:10:03 -0400
Subject: 10.1667 Re: Hamlet and Marriage Practices
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1667 Re: Hamlet and Marriage Practices

Robin Hamilton wrote:

>Incidentally, the marriage of a brother to a deceased brother's wife
>only became legal in England in the early 1900s-there's a Shaw play, I
>misremember which, which turns on this point, as it was legal earlier in
>Australia.

There is also a joke in G&S's Iolanthe about this being a perennial
legislative nettle.

Larry Weiss

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dana Shilling <
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 >
Date:           Saturday, 2 Oct 1999 20:56:08 -0400
Subject: 10.1667 Re: Hamlet and Marriage Practices
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.1667 Re: Hamlet and Marriage Practices

The Shaw play referred to is "Major Barbara," where Adolphus Cusins
wants to take over the Undershaft cannon factory, which can only be
inherited by a "foundling." He gets over the difficulty of his
respectable (albeit Australian) birth by pointing out that his mother is
his father's second wife-the sister of his deceased first wife. I think
the enabling legislation dealt specifically with deceased wives'
sisters, not in-laws in general. By the way, I suspect that the Danish
court had a pretty shrewd idea of what had happened, and decided to keep
their mouths shut about marital irregularities by anyone who might still
have some leftover cursed hebanon.

Dana (Shilling)
 

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