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|About the dates
Written by Julianne E.
(2/12/2004 6:34 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Some little things, penned by Art
6) Mr. Gardiner's letter is dated Monday August 2 -- which could be in the year 1779, 1784, 1790, 1802, or 1813 (if we limit the selection to between Jane Austen's birth and the publication of P&P). I believe this is only the second time a weekday is associated with a date. But this is supposed to be in a year following one containing a Monday November 18 (from Mr. Collins' letter in chapter 13) -- and there is no such year in this time frame. Years with a Monday November 18 are 1793, 1799, 1805, and 1811.
I asked the DH about this (he's a History guy), and his comment was that perhaps JA did this on purpose so as not to make her story appear historical. In his opinion, her focus was the story itself and the characters, not the accuracy of the dates. This inconsistency could have been her way of prooving that point. Then I added that she also mentions the ---shire militia quite often but never gives a real name. This makes sense to me.
Thanks, Art, for giving me a reason to discuss P&P with the DH and not see his eyes glaze over!
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