Tag Archive: courtship and marriage

Feb 21 2017

Providing for young ladies’ future in Jane Austen’s World

How did dowries provide for a young woman’s future? A Woman’s Dowry Though Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Bennet referred to dowries as “bribes to worthless young men to marry his daughters,” dowries were more commonly considered a means by which a responsible family compensated a husband for their daughter’s lifelong upkeep. How’s that for a romantic notion?  Dowries …

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Feb 07 2017

Marriage and Coverture in Jane Austen’s World

It’s hard to believe how different women’s lives were in Austen’s day. Marriage and coverture, a legal concept, effectively took away her personhood. The Concept of Coverture In 1765, William Blackstone presented a common man’s language interpretation of English law. He explained the law’s approach to women’s legal existence and rights in marriage which remained largely unchanged until the …

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Jan 10 2017

By the Book: Mr. Collins’ Proposal

Was Mr. Collins’ proposal as outrageous as modern readers believe? Congratulations to RMORREL winner of the paperback set. Once a gentleman survived the rigors of a courtship and wished to propose—and it was only the gentleman who could extend an offer of marriage—he had the dubious advantage of having very clear procedures to follow. He did …

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Nov 08 2016

Conduct during Courtships in Jane Austen’s World

Nothing, especially courtships were straightforward in Jane Austen’s World.   Squelching, not encouraging courtship Many of the rules governing conduct in courtship helped squelch the possibilities of romantic passion. These included forbidding the use of Christian names, paying compliments, driving in carriages alone together, correspondence, and any kind of intimate contact. If a couple was observed violating …

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Oct 13 2016

Discreet Affections in Jane Austen’s World

When Mr. Darcy proposed to Elizabeth at Hunsford, she was taken utterly by surprise. How likely was it that the discreet affections of a courtship could really escape the notice of one of the parties involved? Courtship Advice for the Gentleman Unmarried men had to exercise caution around unmarried young ladies. Attentions or even particular friendliness …

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