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|By Regency standards, I don't think any young lady...
Written by Line
(6/8/2007 6:50 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, My take on EB is that she had never, penned by BrendaB
...was ever supposed to have the kind of full, long-lasting relationship with a man that you are thinking of (even if it was non-sexual). Nowadays, by the time people get engaged, they generally do have a full and quite long-term relationship already, but in JA's time, if a relationship showed signs of becoming deeper, those around the couple would either push them to get engaged, or make them break it off altogether. Now, *engagements* could occasionally last for years, according to financial circumstances, but serious not-engaged boyfriend-girlfriend relationships were unacceptable (and a lady could *not* go from engagement to engagement).
I also get the impression that Elizabeth's feelings become deeper and wiser as the novel goes on, but with her parents' example in mind, I'm sure she *always* wanted to respect and like any man she might think of marrying.
BTW, for evidence that JA did not consider absent-mindedness due to love immature, please follow me to the Austenuations board!
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