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|Too big a social circle
Written by Heather G
(1/12/2004 1:01 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, several unrelated questions:, penned by Elizabeth S.
The laugh is on Mrs Bennet not because this is too few but too many. The supposition behind Darcy's remark is that in a country district there would be few families worth associating with, and here is poor Mrs Bennett admitting that they 'dine' (and this shows a degree of social intimacy, unlike simply calling on someone) with such a large group. And it was quite a lot, when people were so limited geographically in their socialising. In Jane Austen's letters, for example, it is clear that her family only socialised with a few other families who lived nearby. So Mrs Bennett is amusing because she has shown herself undiscriminating and vulgar.
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