EXCHANGING WOMEN (1):
He for God only, she for God in him
John Milton on Adam and Eve (1667)
Tucked away in the Church of England prayer book for hundreds of years, this list of the people you can’t marry seems pretty bizarre today. What granny would ever contemplate marrying her grand-daughter’s husband unless this table said she couldn’t? In fact some of these prohibitions have been lifted in recent years. Yet, sanctioned by organized religion and inscribed in the law of the land, this list represents a very British variation of the universal law of human culture which prohibits incest. It reads like the ...