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A History of Marriage explores how marriage developed, and examines real-life experiences in their wider historical context: How did a wealthy couple's experience differ from a poor one's? How did children both fit into and define the shape of marriage? What were a couple's alternatives to staying together, and how long was the average marriage until death ended it? Abbott provides an intriguing look at the way we were, and poses important questions relevant to a 21st-century understanding of marriage.