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|The problem is, Kathy
Written by JulieW
(2/7/2004 12:32 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, A Critic's Error, penned by kathleen (elder)
TIn her defense,here are very few good texts available that deal with the subject. . Elieen Spring's "Law Land and Family:Aristocratic Inheritance in England 1300-1800"is probably the best relating to the law.If youcan find a copy ;-)
Other books such as those by Susan Staves or Sir John Habakkuk have been written by historians who want to prove a point- that the landed esteates grew as a result of primogeniture and the development strict settlement, or that females were hard done by with the replacement of dower by jointure.
The problem is they get it wrong from a legal point of view.And very often bend the law to suit their argument.
In this case I think Ms Stewart is thinking that, on the Benneets marraige, there should have been a resettlement of the terms of the original settlement deed, which would have included all the provisions we know of as being included in a marraige settlement.( the childrens portions, Mrs Bennets jointure).
However, Ms stewart is ignoring the fact ( and its a fact with which Mr Gardiner senior was obviously cognisant,) that Mr Bennet was merely a life tennant of the Longbourn estate and as such could not re-settle the property -without the agreement of the "right heir" when he came of age at 21.He never did have a son - let alone one who attained the age of 21 -and therefore no one ,not even the redoubtable Mr Gardiner senior could do anything about it.
He did only what he could do- settle £4000 of his money upon Mrs Bennet under the terms of her marriage settlement- together with £1000 from Mr Bennet, making a total of £5000, to provide for her widow hood and for the girls - or more correctly younger childrens, portions( see chapter 50-oh go on,we are only one day and a week away from it ;-)..)
Quite logical really.
JA knew this- and if it were not for the GR schedule I could point this out in the text.All I will say is look at paragraph three of Chapter 50 ;-)JA knew exactly what the legal positon was-when she set up this whole entail scenario.
Mr Gardnier senior did not do anythig becasue he was powerles to do anything but give his daughter( and presumably Mrs Phillips too) 4000 pounds upon her marriage.
He could not ask Mr Bennet to alter the terms of the entail.I suppose they all did think that a male hier would be arriving soon,and when he was 21 , then a resettlement could take place, and everyone could partake of the riches of the Longbourn estate.
I would make an objection to Ms Stewarts use of the term "careless".The terms of a selttlemnt make the descent of wealth anything but. Females were covered by the terms of these types of settelemt too.Their future wealth until marraige was was well kown as any male heirs. It was just,in circmstances like the Bennets , not likely to be very prosperous, unless a prudential marraige was made.
I'l leave off the Lit.Crit. Kathy.It does nothing but vex me these days ;-)
I've really gotten to grips with this subject,even to the extent of haivng my husbnads partners readup on it( and on P+P) and had alunch lst yer where we argued different point of 18th century law.Thank goodness they did not render a bill ;-0
I agree Kathy about inaccuracies spoiling ones enjoyment.I was reading an OUP edition of Persuasion last week, edited by James Kinsley, and I was convinced that our contibutors here at ROP would do a much better job.
Frankly the only truth Mrs Bennet parrotted was the desperate need for her girls to marry.;-)
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