Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|William's dream of a cottage.
Written by Rachel G
(10/12/2010 5:33 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, William and Fanny growing old together in a little cottage?, penned by Tom P2
William is a year older than Fanny (ch.2), so he is only nineteen years old. Of course he would like the chance to dance with young women, but I doubt that a wife and children are top of his agenda just yet.
For one thing he would not be able to afford it. I can't find exact figures for the pay of a newly-made naval lieutenant, but it would be a mere pittance unless supplemented by prize money. An 1806 table in the L&T archives showing the incomes of various occupational groups gives the average annual income of naval officers as £139, and lieutenants would obviously earn much less than this.
We see the chaotic state of the Prices' home when William and Fanny get to Porstmouth, and earlier in ch.38 he says to her:
"... we seem to want some of your nice ways and orderliness at my fatherís. The house is always in confusion. You will set things going in a better way, I am sure".
I think that the idea of a clean, orderly, snug little cottage with his beloved sister to welcome him home from a long voyage would look very appealing indeed to young William.
Also, William is a kind young man and delighted to be with Fanny, so I think this dream of a cottage is partly shaped for her benefit. Even if another version of William's dream involved vast wealth, a beautiful wife and ten children, I'm sure he wouldn't say this to Fanny on their journey to Portsmouth.
|Colquhoun's table of incomes c.1806|
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.