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Based on research in almost 500 divorce files, The Great Catastrophe of My Life involves a wide cross-section of Virginians. Their stories expose southern attitudes and practices involving a spectrum of issues from marriage and family life to gender relations, interracial sex, adultery, desertion, and domestic violence. Although the oppressive legal regime these husbands and wives battled has passed away, the emotions behind their efforts to dissolve the bonds of marriage still resonate strongly.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Divorce Virginia History 19th century, Divorce Law and legislation Virginia History 19th century, Marital conflict Virginia History 19th century, Virginia Social conditions 19th century