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Thicker than Water Siblings and their Relations, 1780-1920



Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press
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  • Thicker than Water Siblings and their Relations, 1780-1920
    Thicker than Water Siblings and their Relations, 1780-1920


Thicker than Water is a pioneering study of sibling relationships from the last decades of the eighteenth century to the first decades of the twentieth. The particular focus of the book is on Britain and its middle classes, who were at its core, and the role of family networks created through sibling relationships.

Leanore Davidoff examines what we know about the relationships of brothers and sisters at this time, before delving deeper, looking at their uses and meaning for British middle class families, how they operated within the economic, social, cultural, and religious constraints of their place and time, and how they changed as families became smaller from the end of the nineteenth century onwards.

Author Biography

Leonore Davidoff is Research Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Essex

Table of Contents

Part I: Exploring Kin and their Kind
1. Kin and Family: Expert Opinions and Popular Views
2. Finding Siblings
Part II: The Lattice of Kinship: A Historical Case Study
3. The People and the Setting
4. The 'Long Family' and Its Decline
5. A Like Unlike: Siblings in Childhood and Youth
6. A Dance of Intimacy and Separation: Siblings in Adulthood
7. Forgotten Figures: Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews, and Cousins
Part III: Life's Longest Relationship: Essays on Sibling Themes
8. Sibling Intimacy and the Question of Incest
9. The Rise and Fall of Close Marriage
10. Gender, Age, and Authority: The case of Anne, William Ewart, and Helen Gladstone
11. Sibling Silences: The Freud Family
12. Sibling Loss

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