References in periodicals archive ?
Adelaide may be a feme covert, but she is ready to act in a way that fiercely challenges her husband's ownership of her.
Thus, Adelaide is given a moment in the story where she defies the role of feme covert, only to be put back into that position--as a reward--at the novel's utterly inauthentic end.
bequeathed, or hath, or shall descend to any feme covert, the absolute right, property and interest of such slave is thereby vested, and shall accrue to, and be vested in, the husband of such feme covert; and where any feme sole, is or shall be possessed of any slave, as of her own property, the same shall accrue to, and be absolutely vested in the husband of such feme, when she shall marry.
Not surprisingly, the defense attorneys highlighted the statutory law, including limitations on the rights of a feme covert to possess slaves in her own right or to dispose of property jointly held.
A feme sole is an unmarried woman whereas a feme covert is a married woman.
The Maternal Guardian: The Commentaries's Feme Covert or Clarissa's Feme Sole?
What proves illogical, however, is eighteenth-century law's application of feme covert to the family even after the father has died.
Placing Clarissa side by side with the legal treatises presents a conflicted image of maternal guardianship: according to the treatises, the widowed mother remains a feme covert parent, delegitimized as a natural replacement for the father by the 1660 statue; according to Clarissa, the widowed mother becomes the most powerful type of feme sole because she can assume all of the economic powers of the father.
The feme covert mother, who supposedly remains a covert wife after the husband's death, openly enters the courtroom in a position that is more empowered than that of the feme sole widow, acting on behalf not only of herself, but of her children.
Howe would become a feme covert and revoke the privileges afforded to her by guardianship.