Courting and dating rituals 1400 1600

Colonial society came up with a fairly ingenious solution. Which makes modern parents look pretty lame by comparison. Not necessarily while bundling, but behind the barn, in the meadow, during the corn shuck fest.

If you were 17, you might suggest to your strict Christian parents that you'd like to snuggle up with sultry Goodie Sally from across the hog farm. You've probably heard of this practice, called "bundling," where unmarried couples could sleep together in the same bed, sometimes with a plank placed between them (for all the good it would do). They planned ahead for it like some parents today stock their son's skater pants with condoms. HOLD HANDS AND MAKE EMPTY PROMISES Handfasting, or spousing, was another way for a dishonorable young rogue to get lucky.

An Elizabethan Wedding Custom for the wealthy was to present a miniature picture to the man to give some indication of what his prospective wife might look like.

This custom was followed prior to the betrothal of King Henry and Anne of Cleves.

The woman wears a head brooch and a pearl necklace, both characteristic bridal ornaments; a lady holding a carnation, traditional symbol of love, betrothal, and marriage, is on the reverse.

Mentioned in literary and documentary contexts, belts had a practical function as well, and were probably worn by women high above the waist with the weighted ends dangling suggestively. The notion of “sweet suffering” was diffused through sources such as the Canzoniere of Petrarch, which provided rich descriptive vocabulary such as this from the sixty-first sonnet: Oh blessèd be the day, the month, the year, the season and the time, the hour, the instant, the gracious countryside, the place where I was struck by those two lovely eyes that bound me; and blessèd be the first sweet agony I felt when I found myself bound to Love, the bow and all the arrows that have pierced me, the wounds that reach the bottom of my heart.

In the Italian Renaissance, as now, lovers exchanged gifts.

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