Marriage and Work, Ain’t No Modern Love: A Review of ‘Making a Living, Making a Difference’

“Love was desirable in marriage, but labour and property were essential.” The quote appears in ‘Making a living, Making a Difference: Gender and Work in Early Modern European Society,’ edited by Maria Ågren. It encapsulates the theme of this book: economy over emotions. It does not mean that people in the past were heartless, but the purpose of the book is not to discuss the concept of ‘modern love’ that produces ultimate joy and emotional support. This book rather aims to reveal the socio-economic aspect of ordinary people's historiography and challenge several problematic narratives about the past that are circulating in our society. This fragment of history being redefined and retold in this thorough study is essential to the understanding of marriage and working life as a whole. Click on the headline or the feature image to read the full review.