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|The 'defective' cottage
Written by Barbara
(9/19/2006 10:28 a.m.)
My Norton Critical edition of S&S makes this note:
The cottage later in the 18th century was increasingly glamourized and sentimentalized, seen no longer as a laborer's dwelling but as a site of rustic simplicity and retirement from the debasing pleasures of the city. Tiled rather than thatched, symetrical rather than irregular, yet a far cry from the affluence of Norland Park, Barton Cottage s not the elegantly quaint abode then becoming fashionable.
There will be more to discuss on attitudes towards cottages later, but I can well imagine Marianne's head being filled with thoughts of the type of cottage Cowper describes in The Task:
Especially when Barton cottage has a prospect that commands the whole of Barton Valley and beyond!
Ch. 6 is quite specific about the dimensions of the cottage. It strikes me that the size would not be dissimilar to Chawton itself. However, the two sitting rooms that are 16 Ft2! Surely they are not 4'X 4'!! Jane Austen must surely have meant 16 X 16, don't you think???
And the garrets--what would that be, I wonder? Gabled rooms? Would the servants sleep there or where? Also, with 4 bedrooms, Deidre Le Fay in Jane Austen: The World of her Novels supposes that Margaret with share with their mother, because they intend to have a spare room for company.
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