It is a truth universally acknowledged that happily married people all suffer from the same dreadful affliction – an overweening readiness to impress upon others the advantages of that blessed state. Bel Mooney shows the symptoms. From this Day Forward is intended to increase our understanding and appreciation of the many joys and difficulties of marriage. Bel Mooney is a great ambassador for the sport.
Her ‘highly personal’ selection of pieces on the subject, she feels, ‘will speak to all those who are considering marriage, who are married or who have been married- and provide comfort as well as confirmation.’ To this end, she marshals her literary examples into chapters with headings like ‘Nuptials’, ‘Complications’ and ‘Celebrations’, which, she believes, form an ‘overall narrative’ that is universal.
Among the parade of wits, wags and dour moralists, anguished diarists, letter-writers, poets and novelists whose views she plunders, there is the very wonderful Professor Fowler, whose Private Lectures on Perfect Men, Women and Children in Happy Families, including Gender, Love, Matings, Married Life and Reproduction Etc (1883) offers ‘Six