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|Repairs to the Deane parsonage (letter 31)
Written by Maisy
(9/17/2007 5:19 p.m.)
I find it interesting that Mr. Austen is spending £100 to fix up the little parsonage at Deane, where James and Mary have been living. From Letter 31: The whole repairs of the parsonage at Deane, inside and out, coachbox, basket and dickey will not much exceed 100.
Considering all the expenses the Austen's will have in setting up their lodgings in Bath, I wondered why this should have been Mr. Austen's responsibility rather than James's? I realize that Deane was Mr. Austen's spare parsonage, but James was, after all, the one living in it. According to Irene Collins' Jane Austen and the Clergy, there doesn't seem to have been a "rule" requiring a retiring clergyman to pay for such repairs to a parsonage he was not living in. Collins is of the opinion that it was unsual for a man such as Mr. Austen to to take on such an expense (p. 74, paperback edition).
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