|GR: Ages & marriage to a rogue
Written by Kristen G.
(10/19/2003 5:49 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Average age of the Georgian bride was near twenty-five, penned by KerstinM
] I found that tidbit of information quite fascinating because I had the impression from JA novels and Georgette Heyer books that the average bride was much, much younger! I would have guessed the average bride was around nineteen or so....did you find that surprising, too?
Indeed. When, in S&S2, they made Elinor around 25 and made her start to be in the category of "spinster" they might have been slightly off. In Persuasion, Elizabeth Elliot is 29 when she feels she might be "approach[ing] the years of danger." Charlotte Lucas, however, is, at 27, happy to be getting married. Makes it rather confusing. Perhaps the difference is that Elizabeth is still good-looking and Charlotte never was.
] It also explains Fanny Price's reaction to Henry Crawford, any sensible woman of the Georgian era would have very much reacted the same way.
Thanks for pointing this out. I had also thought the refusal unrealistic, considering Fanny's lack of money and social status. However, after reading the horror stories of women trapped in marriages to such men, one can easity see why Fanny would refuse Henry at all costs.
This passage also made me think about Helen Huntington from Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Though people were shocked by Anne Bronte's story at the time of its publication, it seems that her story had a basis of truth, sadly enough.
It made me realize how sensible and in tune with her times Charlotte Lucas was when she said, "I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins's character, connexions, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state."
Certainly, marriage with Mr. Collins is not a happy prospect, but at least he won't be unkind or cruel to her.
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