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|On the other hand...
Written by Line
(9/20/2005 5:53 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Unprosperous marriage., penned by Lia
IS MRS. CLAY WIDOWED OR DIVORCED?
Jane Austen does not say, though it is presumed that Mrs. Clay is a widow as she would be beyond the pale as a divorced woman. Moreover, her ex-husband would have had custody of the children.
Also, if Mrs. Clay's husband had abandoned her, she would certainly not be able to remarry, and I believe that even if he had, there was some social stigma on the abandoned *wife*, who would not feel comfortable socializing too publicly.
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