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The Show of Presents and Matches Definitely Not Made in Heaven

Susan Morrison looks at 20th century wedding traditions and 19th century 'husbands from hell'.

Did you or a pal have a 'show of presents' before your wedding? Do you even know what one of those was? Susan Morrison's mum Peggy Morrison had one in the 1950s and she's back with historian Dr Yvonne McFadden of Glasgow University to spill the beans on what it involved and what could possibly go wrong. Speaking of things that could go wrong with weddings, we're off to the 18th century and a doomed attempt to woo the Provost of Edinburgh with a hotline to God - Dr Martha McGill of Warwick University has the inside track on Rachel Brown's godly schemes to get her man. But matters are much more serious in the 19th century, Ashley Dee from the Open University studies a very modern subject - coercive control by abusive husbands. One unusual variant of this was marriages where the husband had venereal disease but did not want to be honest with his wife. Ashley chats to Susan about two of her cases.

28 minutes

Episode image: Artist Sir George Chalmers, courtesy National Galleries of Scotland