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Download A Judgment for Solomon: The d'Hauteville Case and Legal by Michael Grossberg PDF

By Michael Grossberg

ISBN-10: 0521552060

ISBN-13: 9780521552066

A Judgment for Solomon tells the tale of the d'Hauteville case, a arguable baby custody conflict fought in 1840. It makes use of the tale of 1 couple's sour struggle over their son to discover a few timebound and undying good points of yank criminal tradition. This eagerly trial sparked a countrywide debate over the felony rights and tasks of parents, husbands and better halves. The d'Hauteville case explains why well known trials turn into "precedents of criminal experience"-- mediums for debates approximately hugely contested social matters. It additionally demonstrates the facility of person men and women to give a contribution to criminal switch via turning to the legislation to struggle for what they wish.

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Additional info for A Judgment for Solomon: The d'Hauteville Case and Legal Experience in Antebellum America

Sample text

Once again, though, their versions of the reconciliation diverged dramatically. Ellen explained that Magnus's description of his son's wretchedness made her realize that Gonzalve's release had not been genuine. The would-be bride recalled feeling trapped yet again. She finally decided that her personal code of honor and responsibility demanded that her nuptial pledge be fulfilled. Gonzalve's release had not been heartfelt, instead it seemed "to be a case of a reluctant and constrained sacrifice to duty, made by him for her sake, against his own will, and under circumstances calculated to occasion him lasting unhappiness.

He pleaded that she retract her words, reconsider her demands, and resume her wifely duties. Anticipating the impending birth of his child, Gonzalve gave Ellen other instructions that also became fodder for their trial. He had chosen his brother Leonces as godfather, and suggested that she select one of her sisters as godmother. As tokens of respect for his parents, he wanted to add either Eric or Aimee to the child's name. Adhering to traditional gender customs, he instructed that if Ellen bore a son, he wanted the boy named Alois, "a name dear to every citizen of Switzerland"; and that she should choose the name for a daughter.

But the journey had far different results. Ellen recalled feeling trapped. Despite thinking that Gonzalve io A Judgment for Solomon had secured her consent without fully disclosing his financial circumstances, she "had no thought of violating my word, when once given, unless I should be voluntarily released by him to whom it had been pledged. I was therefore deeply concerned, that my father should have rejected him, after I had accepted him. Young, and imbued with the sentiments ordinarily entertained at that age, I was peculiarly sensitive upon the subject of my duty to keep my word in this respect, and until freely released, considered it nearly as binding as the marriage contract.

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