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|Mr Elton's expectations
Written by Nikki N
(3/16/2011 11:18 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mr. Elton shows his true colors, penned by Anne-Marie
I believe, if he married Emma he would expect Emma to move into the parsonage, and they could visit Mr Woodhouse and Hartfield every day. Mr Elton has turned out an unpleasant, unlikeable character, but I don't think such expectation was unreasonable if Emma had loved him and married him.
It was the usual practice for the wife to move into the husband's home. There were gentlemen's daughters whose fathers owned large estates (Hartfield estate is actually not that large especially when compared to Donwell, the Woodhouses' wealth came mainly from other sources), -- who married gentlemen with smaller estates, or gentlemen's daughters who married lawyers, clergymen, army and naval oficers (the gentlemanly professions) -- and they were generally expected to leave their homes for their husbands.
The exception would be if the woman herself owned the estate or was its' sole heiress e.g. Anne deBourgh of Rosings since she did not marry Darcy of Pemberley might marry a younger son or a gentleman of smaller estate who would be expected to move to Rosings (if he can put up with Lady Cat!)
Emma is the heiress to 30,000 pounds, but she is not her father's sole heiress. There appears to be no male entail on Hartfield, but that would mean -- either Emma will inherit it jointly with her elder sister, or there might be an entail which provides for the eldest daughter to inherit if there was no son, in which case Hartfield would go to Isabella.
I'm inclined to think Hartfield would go to Isabella from the passage in chap 53 -- when people heard of the living arragnements -- "One set might recommend their all removing to Donwell, and leaving Hartfield for the John Knightleys".
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