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Written by Margaret C
(10/12/2013 11:37 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, this may be of interest, penned by mikeB in Japan
"assessing where they are in the mating market and pitch their demands accordingly"? It sounds like something Mr Collins would say. Or a Lothario on a desperate attempt to punch above his weight by negging. It doesn't sound very scientific.
As for holding out for Mr Darcy, Elizabeth spends half the book (The first half, Professor Dunbar) proving she could not be prevailed upon to marry him. I would say that Jane Austen is very big on letting those 'lots of you waiting just for him' stand their chance. Except that 'he' is Willoughby. Even a Rector With Prospects like Mr Collins had to ask twice. Mr Darcy, Robert Martin, Frank Churchill and Frederick Wentworth had to ask the same girl twice.
Most of the women take what they are offered as soon as they are offered, even when the offer comes from a clergyman. There's Charlotte, Elinor, Augusta, Henrietta, Mrs Norris, even Kitty. Fanny 'holds out' for her clergyman; I don't think Mary Crawford really thought through the marriage-market consequences of inviting her brother rather than Edmund to dinner that time, but it was a little like holding out; and Catherine too held out against John Thorpe for a respectable clergyman. Like John Thorpe, Caroline Bingley, Marianne Dashwood, Anne Steele, Lydia Bennet, and Maria Rushworth seem to be under some delusion about their place in the mating market, and Lady Catherine does not seem to have borne that in mind when she pitches her demands.
Lucy, Isabella, Lady Stornaway and Lady Susan do seem to assess where they are in the marriage market, and jilt their accepted lover when a wealthier partner seems in the offing.
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