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|Yet Charlotte does sound very much like she's joking
Written by Tracy W
(4/29/2007 7:38 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I do not see Charlotte taking any pleasure in..., penned by Adrian
As I said in the earlier thread on this page, married women in Regency England were highly dependent on their husband's character. They lost control of their money (unless their family took particular steps), they were subject to his decisions, it was pretty much impossible for them to obtain a divorce. Even nowadays I have seen a marriage to a conster or a gambler or a drunkard cause a lot of misery before and after the divorce (regardless of the gender of the person in question), in Regency times the misery could last for a lifetime.
In this context of marriage being an extremely serious commitment a line like ... it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life does sound like joking as it is such an extreme statement, and it's not surprising that Elizabeth doesn't take it seriously.
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