In the early modern period marriage was an economic as well as a personal decision. It determined female identity in both legal and social contexts; for women of all social classes, the ramifications of marital choice extended into every area of their lives. For the vast majority of women and men, marriage was until death us do part’. Separations, which did not allow remarriage, were possible but rare; divorce with remarriage was virtually impossible, at least in law. Death, however, ended marriage as frequently as divorce does today.