The Thinking 
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A Pregnancy in the News

June 8, 2011



I just read this article in the New York Times on the pregnancy of Huma Abedin, the wife of Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Poor child! When he or she is born (God willing), the child will have a lot to deal with. Read More »


Refusing to Forgive

June 8, 2011


CHRISTINE writes from Germany:

There is something on my mind which I wanted to write you for a long time.

Following one of your articles about Emmie, the woman who sought advice in The New York Times when considering an abortion, a woman wrote to you about her mother who had had her son aborted by a doctor before she was married. The woman wrote that her mother regretted that for her whole life and never went to Communion because of it. You wrote that you could not understand her, because if she had confessed it she could have gone to Communion. Read More »


A Wife Who Tickled the Cook

June 8, 2011



Still Life with Bowl, Giovanna Garzoni

MARGUERITE LOUISE D ′ORLÉANS, the 17th century Grand Duchess of Tuscany, was a difficult spouse. Her husband, the Grand Duke Cosimo III de ‘Medici, was so frustrated by her behavior that he eventually had her banished to a convent in France. While at the convent, she had affairs and gambled at the court at Versailles. She also tried to burn the convent down, an act said to have greatly irritated her husband.

I bring up the Grand Duchess for no reason other than to relay the following story of marital conflict. Most stories of marital conflict are interesting, but this one is particularly so. Whether it has any lessons for us who live in a highly scientific and egalitarian age – a time generally devoid of palace cooks and princesses and convents that accept banished wives – I prefer not to say. The anecdote comes verbatim from the wonderful 1905 book Florentine Palaces and Their Stories by Janet Ross. Read More »

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