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Written by Penelope
(1/27/2004 2:12 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Trade?????.:-), penned by JulieW
It seems as if JA gave them this less-than-perfect status to highlight their snobbery - they are happy to demean Mr Gardiner, while ignoring their own position - are they in fact closer to Darcy in social standing, or closer to Mr Gardiner in having money from trade ?? :) . Ah, Caroline would be appalled at the suggestion !!
Which makes me wonder if the Bennets would not have really been of higher social standing, according to family heritage, than the Bingleys - it's not said explicitly in the book, but assuming both Caroline and Elizabeth are gentleman's daughters, Caroline's greater claim to status becomes her fortune and her brother's. Unlike the Bennets they have no landed estate, which is suggestive of greater or more long-standing social status of the family. And their fortune is from trade, not a more 'respectable' source. The power of money !!
This speculation is ignoring the effects of the Bennets less than socially desirable family members and connections, that is :) .
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