Courtship in Canada: The New Frontier
Sam Coghlan was Deputy Director and Senior Consultant of the Thames Ontario Library Service Board, Southwestern Ontario.
The title of this book and the name of its publisher reveal all that one need know about it. Published by the Guidance Centre at the University of Toronto, this chubby pamphlet has been written to guide young persons into the mysteries of love and marriage. It pleads for the application of reason to the decision of whether to marry — a decision often based on the most unreasonable of motives, being in love.
The title’s use of the ancient term “courtship” is a sign of the book’s limited relevance in this day and age. The husband and wife authors do exhibit some forthrightness in their discussions of sex which would have been shocking two decades ago, but they focus on “marriage” rather than on a more general term such as “long-term relationships.” They mention living together very seldom and no other types of arrangements at all. However, this limited focus may make the use of the word “courtship” appropriate. This is not another book on dating or on sexual etiquette in this era of casual sex. This is a book for people interested in entering serious, long-term relationships.
The title also connotes an aim of being scholarly, which is misleading. This is not a sociological study or text, it is a guidance tool. The writing is very subjective and is replete with anecdotes. The authors are attempting to persuade readers to apply their ideas; they are not merely presenting cold facts or theories.