Item Details

Gross Misbehavior and Wickedness: A Notorious Divorce in Early Twentieth-Century America

Jean Elson
Format
Book
Published
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania : Temple University Press, [2017]
Language
English
ISBN
9781439913901, 1439913900, 9781439913918, 1439913919
Summary
"The bitter and public court battle waged between Nina and James Walker of Newport, Rhode Island from 1909 to 1916 created a sensation throughout the nation with lurid accounts of--and gossip about--their marital troubles. The ordeal of this high-society couple, who wed as much for status as for love, is one of the prime examples of the growing trend of women seeking divorce during the early twentieth century. Gross Misbehavior and Wickedness--the charges Nina levied at James for his adultery (with the family governess) and extreme cruelty--recounts the protracted legal proceedings in juicy detail. Jean Elson uses court documents, correspondence, journals, and interviews with descendants to recount the salacious case. In the process, she underscores how divorce--in an era when women needed husbands for economic support--was associated with women's aspirations for independence and rights. The Walkers' dispute, replete with plot twists and memorable characters, sheds light on a critical period in the evolution of American culture"--
Contents
  • Coming together and coming apart
  • The perfect couple? a dissenting note
  • Early days : Winter 1897 to Summer 1905
  • A series of temporary truces : Summer 1905 to Summer 1909
  • The beginning of the end : Summer 1909 to February 1911
  • Some cases are simple; this one is not : March 1911
  • Conflicting testimonies : March 1911
  • A baffling piece of new evidence : Spring 1911 to December 1912
  • More trials and tribulations : January 1913 to November 12, 1913
  • A question of virginity : November 13-21, 1913
  • "Gross misbehavior and wickedness" : December 4, 1913, to December 4, 1916
  • Epilogue: The rest of their lives.
Description
325 pages ; 23 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Technical Details

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    a| "The bitter and public court battle waged between Nina and James Walker of Newport, Rhode Island from 1909 to 1916 created a sensation throughout the nation with lurid accounts of--and gossip about--their marital troubles. The ordeal of this high-society couple, who wed as much for status as for love, is one of the prime examples of the growing trend of women seeking divorce during the early twentieth century. Gross Misbehavior and Wickedness--the charges Nina levied at James for his adultery (with the family governess) and extreme cruelty--recounts the protracted legal proceedings in juicy detail. Jean Elson uses court documents, correspondence, journals, and interviews with descendants to recount the salacious case. In the process, she underscores how divorce--in an era when women needed husbands for economic support--was associated with women's aspirations for independence and rights. The Walkers' dispute, replete with plot twists and memorable characters, sheds light on a critical period in the evolution of American culture"-- c| Provided by publisher.
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    a| Coming together and coming apart -- The perfect couple? a dissenting note -- Early days : Winter 1897 to Summer 1905 -- A series of temporary truces : Summer 1905 to Summer 1909 -- The beginning of the end : Summer 1909 to February 1911 -- Some cases are simple; this one is not : March 1911 -- Conflicting testimonies : March 1911 -- A baffling piece of new evidence : Spring 1911 to December 1912 -- More trials and tribulations : January 1913 to November 12, 1913 -- A question of virginity : November 13-21, 1913 -- "Gross misbehavior and wickedness" : December 4, 1913, to December 4, 1916 -- Epilogue: The rest of their lives.
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    a| Walker, Nina Chinn, d| 1873-1947 x| Trials, litigation, etc.
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    a| Walker, J. W. G. q| (James Wilson Grimes), d| 1868-1950 x| Trials, litigation, etc.
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    a| Trials (Divorce) z| Rhode Island.
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    a| Trials (Adultery) z| Rhode Island.
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