Love and Mar­riage: A 20th Cen­tury Ro­mance

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Fri­day, 8.30pm, SBS One They go to­gether like a horse and car­riage, don’t they? Per­haps I should ease up on the wis­dom of songcraft, for there is only one song that mat­ters in the head­long race to tie the knot: Here Comes the Bride. This three­part se­ries, which be­gan last week, cel­e­brates the power of an age-old in­sti­tu­tion that has sur­vived from an­tiq­uity into the mod­ern age of in­di­vid­ual freedom and af­flu­ence. But be­fore you start imag­in­ing de­bates about same-sex mar­riage, you should know that the se­ries con­cerns it­self only with mar­riage in the 20th cen­tury, when such a thing was sim­ply un­heard of. Last week’s de­but was full of ter­ri­bly old peo­ple rem­i­nisc­ing about their ro­mances, pro­pos­als and en­gage­ments in wartime in the first half of the cen­tury. Ro­man­tic but a tad twee. More in­ter­est­ingly, this episode cuts to the 1970s, and the place of mar­riage in the age of fem­i­nism. Amaz­ingly, mar­riage flour­ished. It was a long way from the 60s, to which we soon re­turn, in which ev­ery man wanted a vir­gin bride.

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