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|That is an interesting thought
Written by Kathleen Glancy
(3/17/2011 10:51 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mr Elton's expectations, penned by Nikki N
and has much logic, but I find it hard to imagine Mr John Knightley wanting to retire early from a profession in which he is doing well and likely to rise further, but which requires him to be where the work is, namely London, in order to lead a life of idleness. Hartfield has no estate attached to it and there would be nothing much for him to do there, which is fine for Mr Woodhouse (who is not capable of doing anything anyway) but IMO would drive John mad. Such legal work as exists in Highbury is already covered by the Coxes and would be way below the abilities of a successful barrister. 16 miles today would be an easy commute - Highbury, if it had ever existed, would undoubtedly now be in Greater London - but then it was not a journey anyone could possibly undertake daily, so no chance of John living at Hartfield and continuing in his profession.
Equally I cannot see John wanting to be parted for long periods from his wife and children, or Isabella wanting to be parted from him (she has steadily declined her father's repeated attempts to get her to remain at Hartfield with the children when John's work takes them back to London) so Isabella and the children coming to Hartfield and John taking smaller lodgings in London and coming to Hartfield when the Courts were not sitting is not an option either. Despite the speculations of the good people of Highbury (who not untypically are very engrossed by something which is not really any of their business and have not thought through all the consequences) I am inclined to think if Isabella inherits Hartfield when Mr Woodhouse dies and Emma moves to Donwell it would be let out until such time as John Knightley is ready to retire - which may not happen for many years, as there was no mandatory retirement age for barristers or, as he might well become one, judges.
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