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Written by Elizabeth K
(4/12/2010 11:22 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Darcy's crowd, penned by Elbč
...although surely Mr. Darcy would be acquainted with the 'real' gentry families. The Bingleys are only nouveau riche and here is the irony which I find amusing: their money comes from trade, which the Bingley sisters despise, and "They have come south to shake off the taint of trade. What trade? Most likely Yorkshire woollens - currently generating fortunes for manufacturers of military uniforms" (from So You Think You Know Jane Austen?, John Sutherland and Deirdre Le Faye, p. 122).
The aforementioned literary quiz book also includes a question about the origin of Darcy and Bingley's friendship, the speculatory answer being that they "could not, given the difference of age, have been at Cambridge [together]. It may well have been a school friendship, the young Bingley being a fag [definition: (at some large British private schools) a younger boy who has to do jobs for an older boy, from Cambridge Online Dictionary], or whatever, to Darcy at Eton, perhaps, establishing a kind of mentor relationship between them" (p. 134).
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