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Rethinking ‘the Nation’ in National Legal History: A Canadian Perspective

Abstract

In 1929, when Lorna Parsons tired of her four-year marriage to a London, Ontario tailor, she decided to seek a divorce—in Reno, Nevada. Even though Lorna's divorce was not generally recognized in Canada, obtaining it was important to her and to the hundreds, if not thousands, of Canadians who similarly sought United States divorces at a time when Canadian law was extremely restrictive. The choices of Parsons and her compatriots should be of interest to legal historians. They problematize the idea of national legal history by reminding us that law does not always remain in the tidy jurisdictional containers constructed by legal authorities and academics. National boundaries are more porous, and the nature of law itself more fluid, than we often admit.

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philip.girard@dal.ca
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

James G. Snell , In the Shadow of the Law: Divorce in Canada 1900–1939 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991), 231 et seq

Philip Girard , “Liberty, Order, and Pluralism: The Canadian Experience,” in Exclusionary Empire: English Liberty Overseas, 1600–1900, ed. Jack P. Greene (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 160–90

Hamar Foster , “‘The Queen's Law is Better Than Yours’: International Homicide in Early British Columbia,” in Essays in the History of Canadian Law, Volume V: Crime and Criminal Justice, eds. Jim Phillips , Tina Loo , and Susan Lewthwaite (Toronto: University of Toronto Press and Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 1995), 41111

Hamar Foster , “Letting Go the Bone: The Idea of Indian Title in British Columbia, 1849–1927,” in Essays in the History of Canadian Law, Volume VI: British Columbia and the Yukon, eds. Hamar Foster and John McLaren (Toronto: University of Toronto Press and Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 1995), 2886

Lori Chambers , Married Women and Property Law in Victorian Ontario (Toronto: University of Toronto Press and Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 1997), 83

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Law and History Review
  • ISSN: 0738-2480
  • EISSN: 1939-9022
  • URL: /core/journals/law-and-history-review
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