Written by bridget D
(3/17/2013 7:12 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, rich, penned by Nikki N
I really am not sure about Emma's fortune. I alwasy took it to mean that she had £30k of her own, and presumably Isabella would have the same. And since we are told that hte Woodhouse fortune from "other sources" was very large, I assuemd that as well as the £60k that the sisters had, there was still plenty that Mr Woodhouse had of his own, which woudl descend to them after his death.
It DOES make the Woodhouses very very rich.. AFAIK the richest woman in JA is Miss Grey Willoughby's wife with her £50k, but she is an only child. However since it seems that Emma/JA are calling Miss Hawkins' £10k (or so) a "moderate fortune", then in Emma, some of the protagonists are very very rich, since in some of JA's novels, £10k would be a very handsome portion for a young woman. Fanny P has nothing. Eliz B has only £1000 when her parents are gone. The Dashwoods have only £10k among three of them when their mother dies.. Catherine M has only £3k.
So maybe Emma DOES have possession of £30k and will have even more when Mr W dies?
I suppose it is possible that Isabella has a certian amoutnt,say £10k as her dowry, but Emma inherited some more from a godfather/relative so she is richer, though the younger daughter, and seh can expect a bit more when Mr W dies.