History Headscratchers / PrideAndPrejudice

10th Feb '18 9:21:22 PM DoctorNemesis
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** Leaving aside the other, more practical answers as given above, it's Darcy's business because ''he's Bingley's friend''. He cares about Bingley and wants him to be happy, and believes that this probably isn't going to happen if he, from Darcy's perspective, stumbles into getting hitched too soon to a beautiful-but-uncaring young woman with a nakedly avaricious gold-digging mother. He's wrong and high-handed about it, of course, and eventually comes to freely admit it, but even Elizabeth has to admit his underlying reasons aren't entirely without merit.
10th Feb '18 8:38:43 PM DoctorNemesis
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* Darcy might not have thought she could actually hear him or that she was listening. She was "near enough" to hear him, but that doesn't necessarily mean she was right next to him, and they ''were'' at a dance, which would probably be quite noisy in and of itself. If he did intend to insult her and knew she was listening (which, if nothing else, is perhaps a bit unlikely given what a premium he's shown to place on proper social conduct), that works as well; remember, Darcy's legitimately quite big-headed until Elizabeth shoots him down after his first proposal. He might have simply assumed that she found him and his bags of money awesome enough to overlook his insult when they first met, or that she simply didn't remember it.

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* Darcy might not have thought she could actually hear him or that she was listening. She was "near enough" to hear him, but that doesn't necessarily mean she was right next to him, and they ''were'' at a dance, which would probably be quite noisy in and of itself. If he did intend to insult her and knew she was listening (which, if nothing else, is perhaps a bit unlikely given what a premium he's shown to place on proper social conduct), that works as well; remember, Darcy's legitimately quite big-headed until Elizabeth shoots him down after his first proposal. He At the time, she was just some local landowner's daughter who wasn't really worth his attention, and later when he'd started to become attracted to her he might have simply assumed that she found him and his bags of money awesome enough to overlook his insult when they first met, or that she simply didn't remember it.
10th Feb '18 12:01:19 PM GothicProphet
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* Thank you all, and you were right, I've found (or rather, come across) the passage that explains why Mr. Bennett having a son would have meant more money for the girls (it's in Chapter 50): ""When first Mr. Bennet had married, economy was held to be perfectly useless; for, of course, they were to have a son. This son was to join in cutting off the entail, as soon as he should be of age, and the widow and younger children would by that means be provided for."

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* Thank you all, and you were right, I've found (or rather, come across) the passage that explains why Mr. Bennett having a son would have meant more money for the girls (it's in Chapter 50): ""When first Mr. Bennet had married, economy was held to be perfectly useless; for, of course, they were to have a son. This son was to join in cutting off the entail, as soon as he should be of age, and the widow and younger children would by that means be provided for.""
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18th Nov '17 9:25:42 AM Comrade_Mabby
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* The same with the Bingley family. Louisa got married and became Mrs. Hurst, so now Caroline is Miss Bingley.
21st Oct '17 1:56:15 PM frozen
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* Wickham could very well have sold her to a brothel for a hundred pounds or so once he tired of her. If he had, the Bennets might not have been able to extract her or recover their own respectability.
21st Oct '17 1:50:04 PM frozen
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** It should also be noted that Mrs. Bennet brought a respectable dowry of £5,000 to the marriage. Each daughter has a dowry of £1,000 invested in the five percents, resulting in an income of £50 pa. This comes directly from their mother’s dowry. Had she only borne sons it’s possible that portion would have been available for Mr. Bennet to invest in the estate.


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** More specifically, land produced income in three ways: rents paid by tenant farmers, proceeds from the sale of grain and other foodstuffs grown on the home farm, and either rent or a portion of the proceeds of any other money-making enterprises taking place on the lands (mining, peat or clay harvesting, commercial fishing, industrial mills, etc.). This would be supervised by the landowner’s steward, whose job entailed not just land management but also handling any petty legal matters relating to the estate. It was in fact common for stewards of estates as vast as Pemberly to have attended university for formal legal training, and it was equally common for a master of such an estate to send his steward’s eldest son to university so that he could replace his father in the due course of events, as old Mr. Darcy did with George Wickham.
21st Oct '17 12:49:43 PM frozen
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**** This is not true; as I wrote below, he was Mr. Bennet’s nearest ''male-line'' male relative. He could be a very distant cousin.
21st Oct '17 12:48:23 PM frozen
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** The problem is the error you’re all making by calling Collins Mr. Bennet’s closest “male” relative. Collins is his closest ''male-line'' male relative; in other words, they both descend from the same man through a strictly male line. He might very well be a fifth or sixth cousin. (As to why his name is “Collins” and not “Bennet”: surnames weren’t nearly as fixed in Stuart and Georgian England as they are now. Austen’s own brother changed his surname in order to inherit an estate from a wealthy childless couple.)
28th Jan '17 9:16:41 AM lihtox
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* I wouldn't be surprised if Lydia found out he was leaving and begged him to take her with him, and he was too overcome by lust to say no. It could be that he never actually said anything about "marriage" (he's pretty careful about his choice in words), and Lydia talked herself into believing that they were going to Scotland.
28th Jan '17 9:07:22 AM lihtox
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** Social levels need to be considered here. Mrs. Bennet is a commoner who married a gentleman, and she seems to get along just fine with people of her own rank (Mrs. Phillips, for instance, or the friends she talks to at the parties). But she married a gentleman, and in most of the book she is dealing with people in higher social circles, and she's never bothered/managed to learn to adapt. (Certainly her husband hasn't bothered to teach her anything, as he's lazy and is probably amused by the way she upsets people.) As far as being illiberal, she probably thinks "I'm a gentleman's wife, surely we have all the money we need!" Think how many people win the lottery and then end up ruined because they get carried away.
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