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Thankfully, courtship conventions and romantic gestures need not be this extreme.

According to Queendom’s data, most men and women take a modern approach to dating, but a little chivalry can still go a long way.

Collecting data from 950 men and 1621 women, Queendom’s research on gender roles and courtship reveals that: “Women no longer need to play the more submissive, demure role – and it’s nice to see that both genders support this progress,” states Dr. “This doesn’t mean that men are off the hook and don’t need to put an effort into romance anymore.

The law and the courts cannot govern the behaviour of couples to the degree legislators and the judiciary would like, but the courtship down the ages has had to respond to both.

As Hodgson points out at the start, Austen’s oft-quoted opening to ’ Lonely Hearts adverts - ads only made possible by the end of the 1662 Licensing Act, which had regulated the press.

(The Lady)Hodgson covers a lot of ground in 234 pages - this is a pacey, intelligent and authoritative account with bags of wit.

(Law uk)Nichi Hodgson takes you on a whistle-stop tour of dating through history ( What if Mr Darcy had simply been able to swipe right?

Hence the significance attached by her to the Married Women’s Property Act 1870, and the (mostly) empowering effect of ‘breach of promise’ suits.