But in many places and for a long time, romantic love was not a necessary criterion for conjugal happiness.
The values that had sustained the inherited rules of matrimony were changing during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Social mores resisted the shift, but the ideals associated with romantic love were taking center stage at a time when Romantic reactions to a rationalized, industrializing world emphasized the individual, lonely soul.
It was possibly the first time a newspaper was ever used for such a purpose.
As it happens, Morrison was committed to an asylum for a month.
To place an ad was to reveal an individual need or hunger for erotic love—the greatest force for disorder when unleashed beyond social boundaries, just as it was a centrifugal force for order when bound by social conventions.
It was because of the potential disorder triggered by Eros, fantasy, and emotion—uneasily coexisting with the need to forge family alliances and keep accepted orders tidy—that the business of creating appropriate couples had always been of paramount importance in most societies.Its role and identity have radically changed since the early days, along with our conception of what unions and marriage are about.What is striking, though, is what remains the same.This is why an old romantic tragedy like could be recast in the form of sentimental novels considered dangerous to the humoral passions of young girls, or be recycled in modernity by the likes of Stendhal, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, and Edith Wharton.And this is also why the modern newspaper, expressing as it did the growing speed and fragmentation of the age, became an outlet for individual romantic longing.But what is confusing now is that romance has become conflated with marriage.