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|A Critic's Error
Written by kathleen (elder)
(2/7/2004 10:17 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mrs Bennet's understanding, penned by JulieW
Thank you for all the information on entails. I was just reading Domestic Realities and Imperials Fictions: Jane Austen's Novels in Eighteenth-Century Contexts by Maaja A. Stewart, specifically Chapter Two (Wit and Knowledge of the World: Pride and Prejudice).
On page 53, Stewart is talking about how a foolish character such as Mrs Bennet can still (occasionally) speak a truth, such as questioning the arbitrary distribution of wealth and power in society.
"The careless attitude toward securing the futures of females in a society where those futures could only be secured with inheritance or marriage is marked by the fact that Mrs. Bennet's father, a lawyer, did not insist during the marriage settlement that the entail should be broken, as it could so easily have been." [emphasis mine]
Of what was Ms. Stewart thinking, do you suppose? Or did she just get her facts completely wrong and not bother to check them? (Mistakes always bug me in a work of literary criticism -- makes it hard for me to take seriously any of the other points being argued.)
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