Part II starts with Joan Schwartz's rather technical essay on Clarissa, which contains an expert discussion of eighteenth-century British law regarding land, property, marriage settlements
, and family wills and bequests, and the way these often complex legal and financial issues produce emotional strains affecting the structure and dynamics of Clarissa's family.
This valuable study draws on recent social historians to argue that despite the legal principle of coverture, "many wives retained various forms of separate property, secured through marriage settlements
that were defensible in equity courts" (40); shows "the gendered division of labor within the home" modulating towards "a division between male activity and female inactivity" (29); explores the resort to pawnshops by housewives and theatrical managers, with pawned goods circulating through households and theaters and back again.
We learn that they were seldom built from landed rents alone, but depended on the fruits of political office, speculation in government stock, marriage settlements
, city finance and banking, the law, and colonial plantations.
The unmarried and widows often engaged in litigation related to marriage settlements
, jointures, uses and trusts.