Catherine Brown

Reader, I Married Him

Despite everything, I am six weeks married. The ‘everything’ is not the man. It’s marriage – an institution that I long hesitated to enter. For one thing, I didn’t understand what the state, the ultimate manifestation of the public, had to do with my private life. I considered a relationship a daily plebiscite, not a bond. If I were comfortable with sitting in one particular armchair for the rest of my life, why would I affix straps to the chair and ensure that I could not move? Could modern marriage be anything more than a romantic gesture, like the acquisition of a tattoo of the beloved one’s name, relatively easy to do but an expensive and embarrassing pain to get rid of? Was not the very idea of marriage, like many of its quasi-obligatory rituals, both retro and fictionalising – like the ending to a Victorian novel?

I answered these questions in my own way –

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,