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|Not a half share
Written by Barbara
(9/17/2006 5:21 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, We are told in chapter 1, penned by Tracy W
John Dashwood got half his late mother's fortune when he came of age. His father had a life interest in the other half of it. That doesn't mean that Henry Dashwood got half his late wife's fortune, but that he was able to use the interest on the half of it that John didn't get right away.
We don't know how large it was. A fortune of £50,000 pounds would have been considered sizeable, I believe, and that would have provided something like £2500 interest--but Henry Dashwood had only half of that. No, they didn't pay rent, but I don't think their existence was expense-free either. The girls obviously had music and drawing teachers etc., they kept horses and a carriage, and they had nice furniture and household items that belonged to them rather than the Norland estate.
He had managed to put by £7000 over the years--we're not told if he always had that, or if he had somehow managed to save it up. Yes, Henry Dashwood probably could and should have saved more, but it may have been difficult for him to do much more than he did.
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