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Bride Ales and Penny WeddingsRecreations, Reciprocity, and Regions in Britain from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries$
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R. A. Houston

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199680870

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680870.001.0001

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Lovedargs, Boon Days, and Boon Works

Lovedargs, Boon Days, and Boon Works

(p.142) (p.143) 11 Lovedargs, Boon Days, and Boon Works
Bride Ales and Penny Weddings

R.A. Houston

Oxford University Press

This chapter and the next two shed light on the nature of reciprocity by looking at unequal relationships, when it came to giving and receiving gifts. Lovedargs and boons were days of work done without recompense, relying on neighbourly feelings and reciprocity. These positive aspects of community can also be defined in relation to occasions when apparently willing contributions to work were in fact contractual obligations (boon works). Analysing both legal and moral obligation helps us to establish the boundaries of expectation and acceptability, invitation and imposition, compulsion and voluntarism in societies which placed great importance on generosity.

Keywords:   Marriage, gifts, reciprocity, hospitality, regions, society, communities, festivities, recreations, history

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