The Importance of a Large Dowry


PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

“I can’t walk in this ensemble let alone descend stairs elegantly.”  The whalebone corset was fastened so tightly, Elizabeth could hardly breathe.

“Hold your head high and compose yourself,” her mother tutored.  “Your future husband could be among the suitors downstairs.  You need to impress so you can choose from them, rather than having to accept the only request for your hand.”

“I am aware of the importance, mother,” she retorted.  Not having a large dowry on offer, she had to use her other assets to full advantage.

Elizabeth summoned her courage, breathed in deeply and took her first step.

Word Count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.


49 thoughts on “The Importance of a Large Dowry

  1. wmqcolby says:

    Ah, yes. Echoes of the Old South back in America’s Civil War Days. In some round about way, that tradition is still practiced, kind of, anymore. Pretty cool story you have, Clare.

    Five out of five hoop skirts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clare Hempstead says:

      Thankfully things are better than the period in which this was written, but you are right. Sometimes though women want equal pay when they don’t do an equal job – tennis for example: they only play three sets whereas men play five, but the women want equal prize money!


  2. rochellewisoff says:

    Dear Clare,

    The ridiculous things women had to go through to snag a husband. I”m not sure which was worse, corsets in the West or bound feet in China. I hope Elizabeth didn’t faint on the way down the steps. Well written story.



    Liked by 1 person

  3. gahlearner says:

    This reminds me of a conversation in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, where the women matter-of-factly discuss why and how to catch a husband. And these were noblewomen. The poor had to work hard and find a husband. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mickwynn2013 says:

    This is brilliantly written in a classical style fitting to the period. It reminded me of Jane Austen as well. Suitors, corsets and dowries, very evocative.


  5. spicedmullings says:

    A sad comment on how women prioritize marriage as the panacea for all of life. I advise girls whom I mentor to keep living life the way God wants them to and made them for. A husband can always be part of His plan and not the end of it!

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave a comment. Constructive criticism welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s