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Dutch Matrimonial Advertisements From 1825 Until 1925: Changing Self-Portraits And Partner Profiles

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Chapter Summary

Author analyzes a small number of Dutch matrimonial advertisements between 1825 and 1925 within an historical context and wanted to know how form and content changed during the century and what these changes tell about the self-image of the framers, their wishes and ideas about partnership and the rules and stakes of the game. All information presented in matrimonial advertisements may be reduced to seven standard elements: particulars about the framer; qualifications of potential partner; the aim; reasons for placing an advertisement; procedures to get in touch; assurance of secrecy; eye-catchers, lay-out and other characteristics. Social class and position figured large in their self-portraits as did good looks and health. In spite of the tendency of matrimonial advertisements to become less personal, more condensed and standardized with every sample year, they still reveal some remarkable shifts in portraying the self and matching partner profiles.

Keywords: content changed; Dutch matrimonial advertisements; framers; health; partner profiles; position; self-portraits; social class



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