Last Friday, I went with my friends Amy, Kara, and Kami to see the new Keira Knightley film, The Duchess. The images in the film were fantastic. Scene after scene displayed characters in fabulous period costumes and elaborate hair styles. Based on the life of Georgianna Spencer, the reality of the time period portrayed was intriguing.
Today, our society's views on marriage and sex have swung to the completely opposite side of the pendulum, compared to England's views in the late 1700's. Keira Knightley's character weds at 17 to the Duke of Devonshire, dooming herself to a life where she is denied the loving partnership that can be present between a husband and wife. All her husband, the Duke, wants is a male heir and she fails him. The irony of the situation is that modern day science has revealed that it is the man who determines the sex of a child, not the woman.
Georgianna's husband despises her for something he ultimately controls. The entire concept of marriage is skewed. Marriage was a contract, not a union between to loving adults prepared to make a life together. Sex was not seen as enjoyable for a woman, it was simply a duty she performed at the demand of her husband.
Posted by Clarissa Earl