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|I did not make my meaning clear.
Written by Rachel G
(4/4/2008 1:21 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I thought these parts were..., penned by Moni
I don't think Mr Knightley's comment was at all offensive to Mrs Weston. I am personally nettled by the line because the idea of a wife being obedient to her husband is very alien to the traditions of my family and culture. This is not just a feminist thing - it goes back at least three or four generations, despite the wording of the traditional C of E wedding vows.
What I would like to understand is whether the idea of wifely obedience was taken seriously among the gentry of JA's time - whether it was a cultural 'given', if you like. Does Mr Knightley genuinely expect that when (and if) he marries, his wife will in fact obey him. Or was it then, as it was for much of the 20th century, a vow honoured more in the breach than the observance?
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