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History’s Most Prolific and Deadly Female Poisoner Helped Women get Rid of their Husbands

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In 17th century Italy, most women who did not wish to take up a nun’s habit and enter a convent had only three ways to keep body and soul together: beg, prostitute themselves, or marry. Most women married, but given the state of things and the prevailing patriarchy, those who had the misfortune of ending up with an abusive husband were usually out of luck. Divorce was not an option, and complaints were often met by advice to be patient, submit to their hubbies, diligently fulfill their wifely duties, and try harder to please their spouses in order to avoid more abuse.

Thus, many women had to settle for praying that an abusive husband would mend his way, or barring that, pray for early widowhood.

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