Written by Mandy N
(9/17/2006 12:38 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Very familiar..., penned by Moni
I agree with you Moni. Interesting how the Austen ladies and Dashwood ladies lived somewhat circumscribed lives.
The Austens moved to Chawton cottage in 1809 after Edward carried out some simple alterations.
Mrs Austen could not afford a carriage; and Mrs Dashwoood on Elinor's advyce sold her carriage and horses.
For the Austen ladies, social activities were confined to within walking distance, such as afternoon visits to neighbors.
Jane and Cassandra went for visits to relatives but relied on them to arrange transport.
Although the Austens had a maid, Cassandra did much of the housekeeping.
Like the Dashwoods, the Austen ladies had genteel pursuits of reading and writing poetry while Jane had her piano & Cass. knew how to draw.
In a settled home, Jane also took out her manuscript for S&S.
Fortunately, I don't think Jane's brothers were as stingy as Fanny about the ladies owning fine china. ;) Tomalin mentions Jane visited the Wedgewood rooms in London. I believe Chawton cottage had a Wedgewood service and Edward had Wedgewood ware as well.
These letters give me the impression the Austen ladies were reduced to a similiarly dependent position as the Dashwood ladies; They relied on their kinsmen for material assistance.
With reference to :
Penelope Hallet-Hughes 'My Dear Cassandra'.
(Collins & Brown. 1990)