Mormon Polygamous Families: Life in the Principle


By Jessie L. Embry
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Book Description:

Mormons and non-Mormons all have their views about how polygamy was practiced in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Embry has examined the participants themselves in order to understand how men and women living a nineteenth-century Victorian lifestyle adapted to polygamy. Based on records and oral histories with husbands, wives, and children who lived in Mormon polygamous households, this study explores the diverse experiences of individual families and stereotypes about polygamy.The interviews are in some cases the only sources of primary information on how plural families were organized. In addition, children from monogamous families who grew up during the same period were interviewed to form a comparison group. When carefully examined, most of the stereotypes about polygamous marriages do not hold true. In this work it becomes clear that Mormon polygamous families were not much different from Mormon monogamous families and non-Mormon families of the same era. Embry offers a new perspective on the Mormon practice of polygamy that enables readers to gain better understanding of Mormonism historically.

About the Author:

Jessie L. Embry is the associate director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies and an associate research professor at Brigahm Young University. She is the author of eight books and over 100 articles on oral history, western American history, and ethnic Mormon history. She has just published a book, Mormons and Polygamy, as part of a series to answer questions about Mormonism.

More Information:

340 pages
ISBN: 978-1-58958-098-5 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-58958-114-2 (hardcover)

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