Friday, March 13, 2009

"Loving Frank"

I just finished reading "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan. It is a fictionalized account of a real-world event, the relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick Cheney, from about 1900 to 1912. Frank and Mamah were married, but not to each other. Mamah's husband gave her a divorce, but Frank's wife would not give him one. Regardless, Frank and Mamah continued their scandalous relationship, as both of them were "free thinkers" wanting to do what they wanted to do. Unfortunately they both had children -- a total of nine children. The children paid a high price for Frank and Mamah's free thinking.

I found this book so intriguing that I could not put it down. It did make me wonder about the history of divorce. Obviously at the turn of the 20th century, divorce was considered an unthinkable, shameful act, suggesting a failure of moral character on the part of the individuals involved. I wonder when and how that outlook changed to the extent that today, divorce is common, and considered unfortunate, but not usually shameful?