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The Bride   By: (1573?-1630?)

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There are certain literary works that have the ability to transport readers back in time, unveiling the intricacies of society and uncovering human nature. Samuel Rowlands’ The Bride is undoubtedly one of those remarkable pieces of literature. Published in the early 17th century, this gripping tale takes us on a captivating journey filled with suspense, intrigue, and societal commentary.

The Bride revolves around the protagonist, a young woman who finds herself on an unexpected path to love and heartache. Rowlands crafts a narrative that immerses readers into the world of London during a period of social flux. Through the eyes of our heroine, we witness the triumphs and tribulations experienced by women who sought to navigate the precarious dynamics of marriage and social convention.

One of the most striking aspects of this novel is Rowlands’ ability to astutely analyze the complexities of relationships, shedding light on both the faults and virtues of human nature. As we follow the character's journey, we are confronted with the profound impact that societal idealizations and expectations can have on individuals. Rowlands masterfully explores the themes of love, devotion, and betrayal, leaving readers to ponder the often blurry line between selfishness and sacrifice.

Additionally, The Bride serves as a powerful critique of the gender roles and expectations prevalent during the time of its writing. Rowlands’ exploration of the duality between the restrictions imposed upon women and the societal pressure for them to adhere to those limitations is both thought-provoking and thoughtfully executed. By intertwining these themes with the central narrative, the author encourages readers to reflect upon the historical context of gender dynamics and its lingering impact on contemporary society.

Rowlands’ writing style is engaging and evocative, seamlessly transporting readers to the sights, sounds, and atmosphere of 17th-century London. His descriptive prose paints vibrant pictures of the city’s streets, creating a vivid backdrop for the unfolding drama. Additionally, the author's attention to detail brings the characters to life, making us feel intimately connected to their triumphs and tribulations.

Though The Bride was published over four centuries ago, its themes and observations remain relevant today. Samuel Rowlands' captivating tale of love, loyalty, and the complexities of societal expectations stands as a testament to his skill as a storyteller. This thought-provoking novel is a must-read for anyone intrigued by the intricacies of human relationships and the profound impact of societal norms.

First Page:

E text prepared by David Starner, Phil Petersen, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

Editorial note: Long s's have been turned into s's, and the occasional use of a macron over a vowel to express a following n or m has been replaced with the following n or m. Otherwise, the spelling is as in the original edition of 1617, as difficult and inconsistent as it may be.


By Samuel Rowlands

With an Introductory Note by Alfred Claghorn Potter

Introductory Note

When the complete works of Samuel Rowlands were issued by the Hunterian Club in 1872 1880, in an edition of two hundred and ten copies, the Editor was obliged to omit from the collection the poem entitled "The Bride." No copy of this tract was supposed to be extant. Twenty years later, in the article on Rowlands in the Dictionary of National Biography, Mr. Sidney Lee also names this poem as one of the author's lost works. All that was known of it was the entry in the Stationers' Register: [Footnote: Arber's Transcript, vol. iii. p. 609 .]

"22 [degrees] Maij 1617 "Master Pauier. Entred for his Copie vnder the handes of master TAUERNOR and both the wardens, A Poeme intituled The Bride , written by SAMUELL ROWLANDE vj'd... Continue reading book >>

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