The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Marriage Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
[H]e introduced us to a haggard, gray-haired woman, the widow of the murdered man, whose gaunt and deep-lined face, with the furtive look of terror in the depths of her red-rimmed eyes, told of the years of hardship and ill-usage which she had endured. (Black Peter.2.2)
This scene in "Black Peter" gives us a very graphic depiction of the effects of domestic violence, largely thanks to Watson's descriptive phrases and strong imagery.
"Surely you have gone too far?"
"It was a most necessary step. [...] I have walked out with her each evening, and I have talked with her. Good heavens, those talks! However, I have got all I wanted." (Milverton.1.57-58)
Watson and Holmes are discussing his fake engagement in the Milverton case here, as well as the moral implications of the fake engagement. Holmes's comments about the "talks" he had with his fiancée highlight how little patience Holmes has for people, women especially. There's a good reason Holmes never gave up his bachelor status.
"Sir Eustace was a confirmed drunkard. To be with such a man for an hour, is unpleasant. Can you imagine what it means for a sensitive and high-spirited woman to be tied to him for day and night? It is a sacrilege, a crime, a villainy to hold that such a marriage is binding. I say that these monstrous laws of yours will bring a curse upon the land." (Abbey Grange.27)
Mary Frasier goes on a great feminist rant here about how England's marriage laws are awful and how they favor men over women. If a woman was stuck in an abusive marriage she basically had no way to get out of it; men had to issue a divorce for the most part in this time period.