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Written by Nikki N
(3/3/2011 4:04 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, clergymen, penned by Bridget D
I also get the impression that Mary Crawford might feel that she is herself not quite a suitable person by temperament to be a clergyman's wife. It is not actually a degredation -- her sister was a clergyman's wife, and she was making her home with the Grants.
Edmund is by birth much higher on the social scale than Mr Elton -- Edmund was the younger son of a baronet. Emma thinks it is presumptuos for Mr Elton to propose to her, because he was without alliances, except in trade -- it would cerainly not be presumptuos for Edmund to propsoe to Emma. Edmund had a good living to step into as soon as he had taken orders, as well as another in the future -- Edmund and Henry Tilney were gentlemen clergymen with good prospects of advancing in the church because of their connections. But Mary, used to fashionable London society, I think felt uncomfortable at the prospect because she knew that a clergyman and his wife could not lead the fashionble world.
I sometimes think that with a baronet and Member of Parliament as his father, Edmund might have good propsoect of becoming a Bishop one day. But Mary might well feel herself awkward and unsuited to the possible role of Bishop's wife. She would rather be a Judge's wife in the future -- she would prefer Edmund to go into the law -- like Mr John Knightley, also a younger son -- and it would mean the senior branch of the legal profession i.e. as barristers from whom Judges were appointed, and not what was the junior branch i.e. attorneys/solicitors such as Mr Cox in Highbury.
Augusta Hawkins, on the other hand, came from raterh low trade origins, but acted as though she was from the fashionable world, and ws pleased to think the wife of the vicar of Highbury could be the leader of fashion in Highbury!
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