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|not as rich
Written by Nikki N
(4/10/2013 12:03 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, innate deficiencies of Darcy, penned by mikeB in Japan
Actually, I don't think Darcy was so concerned about other people's wealth as he was about elegance and connexions. I've said in another post that he rejected considering Eliz as a wife in chap 10 was NOT because of the smallness of her dowry, but because of the inferiority of her connexions -- an uncle who was a country attorney and another uncle in trade.
So if Darcy had been attracted to a daughter of Sir Walter Elliot of Persuasion for instance, he would not have rejected her due to her father being in debt and unable to give her a proper dowry -- since she was a baronet's daughter with good connexions. But if he had been attracted to "a rich woman of inferior birth" such as Mr Elliot's wife whose "father was a grazier, and grandfather had been a butcher", he would have rejected her for her inferior birth and connexions. (Even good Anne Elliot referred to her cousin's wife as "a very low woman"). The Bingley fortune had been acquired by trade, but at least they were of "respectable" birth, not of "low" birth, e.g. Mr Weston in Emma was also of a respectable family rising into gentility. I wonder how Darcy would have reacted if he had been attracted to someone in Jane Fairfax's position -- a well-educated, elegant and accomplished but impoverished gentlewoman.
There were different degrees of gentility and respectable birth, and wealth and rank did not always go together, all these social nuances may be rather difficult for modern readers to appreciate.
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