5 Times Love Didn’t Conquer AllOn February 16, 2022 by Elyse
Here at Second Glance History, it’s tradition at this time of year to share stories of love overcoming insurmountable obstacles, again and again. But in the immortal words of Patty Smyth and Don Henley, sometimes, love just ain’t enough. I’m not alone in having learned that the hard way. Patty and Don may not have realized it in the ’90s, but with a few minor alterations, their iconic hit would’ve resonated with broken hearts throughout history.
In Pittsburgh a woman is suing for divorce because her husband has not had a bath for six months. Pittsburgh is a particularly bad place in which to go unbathed for so long.– The Vernon County Censor, December 14, 1910
♪ But there’s a danger in loving somebody too much.
♪ And it’s sad when you know it’s your hygiene you can’t trust.
As the result of the police seeing his marriage notice in an Edinburgh paper, William Lewis, who is a commercial traveller for a pottery firm at Prestonpans, was arrested. A man named Lewis, it seems, had been married in Burslem in 1882, and his wife and two grown-up children were still residing there. . . He was taken before the sheriff and made a declaration.
The bride left Edinburgh on Saturday for Glasgow en route for Toronto, where the couple had intended to set up home. In reply to a question, she said quite cheerily, “I am not going to stay to see what comes out of the proceedings. I will doubtless find another and better man in America.”– The Evening Express, May 31, 1909
♪ There’s a reason why people don’t stay where they are.
♪ Baby, sometimes bigamy just ain’t enough.
Wife of the Rev. H. S. Wannamaker of Elyria, O., testified in her divorce suit that her husband prayed with her for her own death so that he might marry another.– The Star, January 3, 1906
♪ Now I could never change you.
♪ And I don’t wanna blame you.
♪ Baby, you have to take the fall—down the stairs.
A young bride, named Mary Ann Wells, was charged with stealing a shawl from John Scott. The prisoner had just been married to an old man, and had apparently repented of the match, and while her husband was temporarily absent, had seized the shawl and absconded.
The prisoner indignantly protested that the shawl was her own. The honeymoon is deferred until the prisoner has served six weeks’ hard labour at the Northallerton House of Correction.– The Brecon Reporter, June 17, 1865
♪ Yes, I may have hurt you.
♪ But I did not desert you.
♪ Maybe I just want to have a shawl.
A remarkable breach of promise case, brought by a young peasant girl of Debreczin, Hungary, against her fickle lover, has just been decided against her, the judge holding that the lady would, in the course of years, probably grow very like her mother, and that the defendant’s fear of being afflicted with a wife who resembled her mother, that is to say, a future mother-in-law, was sufficient case for jilting any girl.– The King Country Chronicle, November 2, 1910
♪ And I don’t wanna hate you.
♪ I don’t wanna take you to be my wedded wife.
♪ I don’t wanna be the one to cry when you turn into your mother.
I hope Cupid aimed his arrows a little more carefully and gave you a different anthem this Valentine’s Day. But if not, there’s always chocolate—now on sale at extremely discounted prices at your local grocery store.
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Disclaimer: The modern era is far from the first to grapple with rampant “fake news.” As I am neither a historian nor journalist, I make no claims about the accuracy or lack thereof of the above sources. I assert only that they make for a good story.
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Welcome to Second Glance History! This blog seeks to uncover the people and the stories forgotten by history and give them another read through a modern lens. Join me every week as we examine the differences that divide and the common threads that connect the then to the now.