On Marriage

On Marriage



'Devorah Baum is a visionary writer. Her intellectual depth, her emotional precision and her searing insight can only be gathered under an old fashioned word: wisdom' Zadie Smith

A shining exploration of why we marry from writer and academic Devorah Baum

For better or worse, for richer for poorer, till death us do part – we’ve always done it and we’re still doing it. Of all our cultural institutions, marriage is the most ancient, but also the most puzzling.

In this compelling and delightful book, Devorah Baum examines the many meanings we have given to marriage, interweaving the personal with insights from a host of writers, artists and thinkers.

From Freud to Ferrante, and One Thousand and One Nights to Fleabag, she looks at marriage in all of its forms – from act of love to leap of faith, and asks: what are we really doing when we say ‘I do’?

Both celebration and critique, On Marriage is a guide like no other to the landscape of marriage.

'A hugely thought-provoking, witty, warm tour around every significant writer and thinker on love to have emerged since Adam and Eve' Alain de Botton


  • Baum is an erudite and entertaining guide through the landscape of marriage . . . from Kant to Fleabag via George Eliot and Nora Ephron . . . [On Marriage is] a fascinating exploration of an institution that, for better or worse, "continues to shape and carry our human story"
    Stephanie Merritt, Guardian

About the author

Devorah Baum

Devorah Baum is the author of Feeling Jewish and The Jewish Joke: an essay with examples (less essay, more examples). With Josh Appignanesi she is co-director, producer and performer of the films The New Man and Husband, which investigate the intimate dynamics of the filmmakers' own marriage. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Guardian, Tate Etc and the Financial Times. She is Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Southampton.
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