"Reading love between the lines": religion, courtship, and correspondence in the Salvation Army, 1906-1910.
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AbstractThis thesis examines the romantic relationship of Henry Tutte and Edith Willey according to three main influences – religion, gender, and letter writing – seeking to understand Henry and Edith’s conceptions of courtship and marriage by analyzing their love letters to one another. It argues that all three shaped their relationship – religion and gender serving as frameworks of understanding and correspondence as a space for identity creation. Edith and Henry’s status as officers in the Salvation Army meant that they were officially regulated by Army sanction and unofficially regulated by the Salvationist community. The couple followed the majority of the regulations placed on them but at times negotiated and refashioned the limits of acceptably in order to foster emotional and spiritual intimacy. Henry and Edith saw connections between the spiritual love supported by Army ideology and the romantic love that they felt for one another, which lead them to couch their relationship in their faith. Conceptual connections between faith and gender continued as they wrote about their future roles as husband and wife, imagining their lives together and molding one another through subtle written interactions.