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Isabeau's Journal

 November, 12 2005

OK, folks-this is the general forum now for questions that don't seem to fit in any of the other threads. I'm going to sort some of the earlier posts into the appropriate forums, but it might take a while, so bear with me. I'll delete the ones that have already been reposted by their authors.

I'm from Germany, and I admit I don't know the official laws, but I think it's not allowed here. OTOH, I'm (re-)reading Jane Austen at the moment, and there are several instances where marriages between first cousins are not only not frowned upon, but openly welcomed. Examples: Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park, and (prospectively) Mr. Darcy and Lady Catherine's daughter in P&P.

And think back on all those royal intermarriges happening all over European Courts in former times...

Indeed. Keep the blue blood in the family and what-not. I might be misremembering, but didn't Tolkien state somewhere that one of the great things about Aragorn & Arwen's marriage is that the two Peredhil lines were reunited? Perhaps it wasn't Tolkien, perhaps it was someone else's analysis.

From April 4, 2002 edition of USA Today:

Marriage between first cousins, long a major legal, social and religious taboo, is far less likely to produce abnormal children than is commonly believed, a study by leading genetics researchers says.

"Stigma still attaches to these unions," says Robin Bennett, a genetics counselor at the University of Washington and the study's lead author.

"But there's no good social or biological reason that should be. There's a lot of misinformation out there that is really holding back some cousins who want to try to have children," Bennett says.

I actually know a married couple (Indian) who are first cousins. It's not uncommon.

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