The Wedding Night: A Popular History, published this year, is a humorous volume that looks at the previously unexplored topic of wedding night history.
“The book investigates historical and cultural aspects of the wedding night. One chapter looks at the first records in the ancient Near East of a wedding night. Another describes the tradition of the carrying the bride over the threshold and throwing foods during the procession. A long chapter describes important royal wedding nights when the continuation of a ruling family was at stake. There are chapters on marriage manuals, special clothes and foods, jokes, and wedding nights in literature and film,” explained Filstrup via email.
The novel covers an array of cultural expressions and shares insights into the history of intimacy through the years. It provides many examples of historically significant unions in European and American history in both the 19th and 20th centuries that are sure to be amusing.
“The royals chapter is fun because what happened, or more often, what did not happen made history. For example, it took Louis XVI seven years to consummate his marraige with Marie Antoinette,” he said via email.
Chris Filstrup, an instruction librarian at Stony Brook University, explores everything wedding night related with his co-author, Jane Merrill, whom he was once married to and says gave inspiration for the book.