marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

mesalliance

Been philosophically contemplating mesalliances and world-building

They still exist as a possibility in the real world, but it's not really fashionable to admit that assortive mating exists.

The fun part is going back into history, or imaginary worlds, and trying to convey what is, and is not, a mesalliance.  There are some writers who seem to think that unless it's a scullery maid who's not a runaway princess, the prince isn't marrying down.

On the other hand, while marrying a foreign princess was always approved, it was only occasionally that marrying a noblewoman would be regarded as a mesalliance.  It happened.  One French king, near the end of the Dark Ages, was praised for marrying below himself to avoid taking a wife who was also a cousin.  And Queen Victoria not only stalwartly defended the propriety of her descendents marrying the offspring of morgantic marriages, she was willing to countenance one daughter's marrying a subject -- in spite of stern disapproval from her German cousins, who would not countenance it in their own families, and it was, after all, the first time a British sovereign's child had married a subject for many a year.

Even within the nobility, marrying too far across titles could be a mesalliance.

Hard to convey neatly.

Still useful for creating the obstacles that are so vital in romance.
Tags: families: matrimony, world-building: social classes
Subscribe

  • romantic

    A true couple

  • astute observation

    About spring

  • down the years

    Ah, the bildungsroman! I know the years ahead. I know many events that will happen in them. I even know that some will happen before others! It's…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 0 comments