History Headscratchers / SenseAndSensibility

20th Oct '16 9:02:26 AM LadyNorbert
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** Though it should also be recognised that, while duelling was illegal, it was still widely done by the gentry (even the DukeOfWellington, several years later, while he was Prime Minister, had a very public duel over what he considered a slander by an opponent.) The last time a man was tried for murder after a duel was in 1823 (in times when duelling was legal, the case would not have come to court at all); the sentence was suspended, which goes to show that the ''code duello''- at least for gentlemen- was tacitly acknowledged as valid even then. The end of duelling really came when increasing urbanisation caused men of consequence to stop carrying weapons, and the rise of the middle class- and more lawyers- turned people towards suing and associated litigation as a means of settling scores.
** Perhaps also worth noting that this was a point in the history of duelling where most duels were settled less "to the death" and more "to the showing up and maybe injuring the other guy a little bit". Honor would frequently be considered satisfied simply by both men showing up, putting on a decent display and either shooting the gun over the other person's head or considering the matter settled when the first person received a scratch on their arm. It was usually only the real hardcore fanatics (or the ''seriously'' pissed off) who insisted on making sure one party was dead at the end of it.

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** Though it should also be recognised that, while duelling dueling was illegal, it was still widely done by the gentry (even the DukeOfWellington, Duke of Wellington, several years later, while he was Prime Minister, had a very public duel over what he considered a slander by an opponent.) The last time a man was tried for murder after a duel was in 1823 (in times when duelling was legal, the case would not have come to court at all); the sentence was suspended, which goes to show that the ''code duello''- at least for gentlemen- was tacitly acknowledged as valid even then. The end of duelling dueling really came when increasing urbanisation caused men of consequence to stop carrying weapons, and the rise of the middle class- and more lawyers- turned people towards suing and associated litigation as a means of settling scores.
** Perhaps also worth noting that this was a point in the history of duelling dueling where most duels were settled less "to the death" and more "to the showing up and maybe injuring the other guy a little bit". Honor would frequently be considered satisfied simply by both men showing up, putting on a decent display and either shooting the gun over the other person's head or considering the matter settled when the first person received a scratch on their arm. It was usually only the real hardcore fanatics (or the ''seriously'' pissed off) who insisted on making sure one party was dead at the end of it.
25th Jul '16 9:54:37 PM jormis29
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* To break off an engagement was to leave yourself open to being sued for [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breach_of_promise Breach of Promise]]. However, to do this, the wronged woman had to be able to show that the engagement existed. While no-one else doubted that it did (as not only Lucy but Edward had confirmed this), Edward's family were probably pretty sure they could claim that the engagement wasn't legally binding, or did not exist, or that Lucy was of infirm mind ... they had the money and the position to be able to threaten this, even if they would most likely have lost the suit should it have gone as far as court.

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* To break off an engagement was to leave yourself open to being sued for [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breach_of_promise [[BreachOfPromiseOfMarriage Breach of Promise]]. However, to do this, the wronged woman had to be able to show that the engagement existed. While no-one else doubted that it did (as not only Lucy but Edward had confirmed this), Edward's family were probably pretty sure they could claim that the engagement wasn't legally binding, or did not exist, or that Lucy was of infirm mind ... they had the money and the position to be able to threaten this, even if they would most likely have lost the suit should it have gone as far as court.
26th Jun '16 1:26:04 PM Sarah1281
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to:

* Perhaps he was genuinely trying to help his brother. He may be selfish but he might not be wanting his brother to be disinherited selfish.
14th Jun '15 8:06:25 AM Reynardo
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Added DiffLines:


* To break off an engagement was to leave yourself open to being sued for [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breach_of_promise Breach of Promise]]. However, to do this, the wronged woman had to be able to show that the engagement existed. While no-one else doubted that it did (as not only Lucy but Edward had confirmed this), Edward's family were probably pretty sure they could claim that the engagement wasn't legally binding, or did not exist, or that Lucy was of infirm mind ... they had the money and the position to be able to threaten this, even if they would most likely have lost the suit should it have gone as far as court.

* In addition, a promise was considered binding (so Edward's reputation rested on his keeping his word), and dastardly to the woman as it marked her as "not being good enough". If a young man did break off the betrothal, he was leaving her open to ridicule, censure, whispered rumours behind her back (did she perhaps have a history?) and pretty much likely to remain a spinster. In the day when marriage was the best a woman could hope for, this was pretty serious.

* So if Edward gave in to his family's pressure to break things off with Lucy, he would be considered a cad and a bounder at the very least. When Willoughby was writing to Marianne, everyone thought they ''must'' be engaged and thus his going off with another woman was considered a breach of promise, until Marianne confirmed that he had never actually asked the question. And thus Robert was sent to try and persuade Lucy to break the engagement, as a woman could be the instigator of the break without penalty. Of course, [[AttackBackfire what happened as a result]] stuffed things up even worse...
6th Apr '15 8:48:25 PM DougReeder
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to:

* Marianne's pianoforte would have a wooden frame, instead of modern steel, and the hammer mechanism would lack a number of refinements, but yes, it would be essentially the same instrument.
20th Mar '15 8:30:42 AM DoctorNemesis
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to:

** Perhaps also worth noting that this was a point in the history of duelling where most duels were settled less "to the death" and more "to the showing up and maybe injuring the other guy a little bit". Honor would frequently be considered satisfied simply by both men showing up, putting on a decent display and either shooting the gun over the other person's head or considering the matter settled when the first person received a scratch on their arm. It was usually only the real hardcore fanatics (or the ''seriously'' pissed off) who insisted on making sure one party was dead at the end of it.
12th Feb '15 9:21:50 AM Julia1984
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Added DiffLines:


[[WMG: Just how taboo ''would'' Edward breaking his engagement to Lucy have been at the time?]]
While not illegal, most of the cast (and other literature of the time) act like this was something you just ''did not do '''EVER''''' except in ''very'' exceptional circumstances... yet, Edward's family all act like he should immediately break it off with Lucy and marry Miss Morton, as if there's no obstacle stopping him, no reason why he can't, no expectation that he's bound to go through with it. They all badly ''want'' him to marry Miss Morton, but they never act like that option's off the table now, that Edward's engagement to Lucy is anything that can't be automatically discarded if he wills it.
23rd Sep '14 11:22:09 AM Lale
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The third-person narrator states, "When Robert first sought her acquaintance, and privately visited her in Bartlett's Buildings, it was only with the view imputed to him by his brother. He merely meant to persuade her to give up the engagement; and as there could be nothing to overcome but the affection of both, he naturally expected that one or two interviews would settle the matter." This is no longer Edward's conjecture but the objective truth. Robert had no designs of his own on Lucy in the beginning -- that came later. So why did he want "to persuade her to give up the engagement"? Mrs. Ferrars left Robert everything when she disowned Edward purely because of his engagement to Lucy; Edward's engagement was the greatest thing that had ever happened to Robert, so would he try to stop it? He had nothing to gain and everything to lose from talking either of them out of it.

to:

The third-person narrator states, "When Robert first sought her acquaintance, and privately visited her in Bartlett's Buildings, it was only with the view imputed to him by his brother. He merely meant to persuade her to give up the engagement; and as there could be nothing to overcome but the affection of both, he naturally expected that one or two interviews would settle the matter." This is no longer Edward's conjecture but the objective truth. Robert had no designs of his own on Lucy in the beginning -- that came later. So why did he want "to persuade her to give up the engagement"? Mrs. Ferrars left Robert everything when she disowned Edward purely because of his engagement to Lucy; Edward's engagement was the greatest thing that had ever happened to Robert, so why would he try to stop it? He had nothing to gain and everything to lose from talking either of them out of it.
23rd Sep '14 11:21:36 AM Lale
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Added DiffLines:


[[WMG:Why did Robert want to convince Lucy to leave Edward (initially)?]]
The third-person narrator states, "When Robert first sought her acquaintance, and privately visited her in Bartlett's Buildings, it was only with the view imputed to him by his brother. He merely meant to persuade her to give up the engagement; and as there could be nothing to overcome but the affection of both, he naturally expected that one or two interviews would settle the matter." This is no longer Edward's conjecture but the objective truth. Robert had no designs of his own on Lucy in the beginning -- that came later. So why did he want "to persuade her to give up the engagement"? Mrs. Ferrars left Robert everything when she disowned Edward purely because of his engagement to Lucy; Edward's engagement was the greatest thing that had ever happened to Robert, so would he try to stop it? He had nothing to gain and everything to lose from talking either of them out of it.
21st Sep '14 4:16:46 PM Lale
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[[WMG:What does Marianne's pianoforte look like?]]
I have it in my head that "pianoforte" is the old term for the instrument we've shortened to "piano," although they were smaller back then than the big, black grand pianos you'd find in a wealthy home today. Is the instrument Marianne plays basically just a small, brown-colored version of the instrument we know as a "piano"?
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