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[Salmon, Thomas]. A Critical Essay Concerning Marriage. Shewing, I. The Preference of Marriage to a Single Life. II. The Arguments For and Against a Plurality of Wives and Concubines. III. The Authority of Parents and Governors, in Regulating or Restraining Marriages. IV. The Power of Husbands, and the Privileges of Wives. V. The Nature of Divorce, and in What Cases it is Allowable. VI. The Reasons of Prohibiting Marriage Within Certain Degrees. VII The Manner of Contracting Espousals, and What Engagements and Promises of Marriage are Binding. VIII. The Penalties Incurred by Forcible and Clandestine Marriages, and the consequences Attending Marriages Solemnized by Dissenters. To Which is Added, an Historical Account of the Marriage Rites and Ceremonies of the Greeks and Romans, and Our Saxon Ancestors, and of Most Nations of the World at this Day. London: Printed for Charles Rivington, 1724. [xx], 310, 5 pp. Reprint available November 2004 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN 1-58477-460-6. Cloth. $95. * Reprint of the first edition. Salmon [1679-1767] was a prolific writer on legal, historical and geographical subjects. He claimed that he went to sea and explored the world for many years. These travels may have furnished the information used in the book's section on marriage rites, which discusses the practices of Denmark, Livonia, Lapland, Germany, Greece, Armenia, Turkey, Persia, India, Ceylon, Siam, China, Japan, Morocco, Guinea, Ethiopia, Chili, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, America, Mexico, Canada, Russia and Sweden. Whether he actually visited these places or not, Salmon's book remains a fascinating document of English social values, anthropological views and legal philosophy in the immediate decades after the Civil War and Restoration. This book was published anonymously in 1724. The second edition, which states the author's name, was published later that year.
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