In a message dated 3/27/2003 3:19:15 PM Central Standard Time,
> Austen's heroines are, for the most part, well aware of the consequences of
> failing to catch a husband who was able to provide for them. There were
> independent English women in Austen's time, but so far as I know they
> almost all inherited at least a small income.
We might add that Jane herself failed to "catch" one, and after her father's
death her mother, Jane, and her sister eked out a living mostly on subsidies
from richer relatives - mostly the brothers of the family. One of the sons
had been adopted into a rich relative's family, in fact, the parents seeing
this sacrifice as providing him additional security.
But they did not have to turn to teaching, the avenue tried with only
moderate success by the Bronte sisters.
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