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Written by Line
(1/25/2004 2:02 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Relationship of Collins, Sr to Mr Bennet, penned by kathleen (elder)
As Julie says, Mr. Collins must be a cousin through a male line, or he wouldn't be able to inherit Longbourn. However, people used to have a much larger sense of family than most of us (in the West) do today. I have no proof, but I'm convinced that JA wouldn't call Mr. Collins a distant relative unless he was at least a third or fourth cousin (possibly once or twice "removed" - don't you love that phrase?).
"Cousin" is a very handy term, and I'm sure the distance of the relationship wouldn't prevent Mr. Bennet from calling him that. Also, the more distant the relationship, the more opportunity one of Mr. Collins' forbears would have had to change his name through adoption!
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