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Marriage

Philippe Ariès, 16 October 1980

Bastardy and its Comparative History 
edited by Peter Laslett, Karla Oosterveen and Richard Smith.
Arnold, 431 pp., £24, May 1980, 0 7131 6229 5
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... This is not an easy book to read, even though it is written clearly and at times elegantly; its authors have swathed and encumbered their interpretations in so many reservations and second thoughts that it takes some attentive detective-work to discover their meaning. One is reminded of the famous lines in which Horace celebrated the daring of the first navigator: Illi robur et aes triplex Circa pectus erat, qui fragilem truci Commisit pelago ratum Primus ...

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