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|Famous First Line
Written by BarbaraB
(4/7/2013 1:32 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Beginning at the beginning (as one ought): Chapter 1, penned by kathleen (elder)
Love this first line! The wit, charm and irony of this line sets the tone and establishes the theme so cleverly, I can only marvel. It is generally in the top five of most lists of best known first lines and some consider it the best. The irony, of course, is that it starts out as if it is about wealthy men in want of a wife but immediately turns on a dime with Mrs. Bennet's opening dialog showing us instead it is about women (fortune-less ones we soon learn) in want of wealthy, or at the least, financially able husbands. This first line's focus is on the practical/monied side of marriage or as Austen puts it in relation to Mrs. Bennet, the 'business side' of finding suitable husbands for five daughters who lacked decent dowries in a "confined and unvarying" country neighborhood at that. Hmmm.....
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