|GR: Average ages
Written by Mary Joanna
(10/20/2003 2:28 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Ages & marriage to a rogue, penned by Kristen G.
One thing I wanted to add is that Lydia jokes about how "Jane will be quite an old maid soon, I declare" when Jane is only 23! Of course, Lydia's a silly thing and doubtless exaggerating, but the fact that she does make such a joke indicates that there is a foundation for her to exaggerate on, so to speak. Also, Anne Elliot seems considered a spinster by everyone, including herself, and she is also 27 - and she has much more fortune than Charlotte, at least in theory. Also I believe that in real life, James Austen's wife was 32 when they married, and she was a good catch financially - she took him because she was considered to be on the shelf.
I have a feeling that while being a 19-year-old would not shock people by refusing a proposal, any woman of 25 or older, especially if she had little money, might not be - anxious, exactly, but alert. Elizabeth Elliot I think might be trading on her social status and her money to trump her age, sort of the "Any man would be glad to have Miss Elliot" attitude. Doubtless quite a few would have, for her money, regardless of liking her, it's just that she kept fixing on the one man who didn't care for her particularly. But Elizabeth has advantages that 90% of single 29-year-old women didn't.
Gentleman's Daughter Group Read is maintained by Laraine with WebBBS 3.21.