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|I cannot picture them...
Written by Barbara
(10/4/2006 3:42 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Ah, JA's favourite theme of marriage, penned by Tracy W
...living out their lives in a little cottage with their mother. I suppose that technically they would not starve or anything if none of them married. However, I'm not sure what kind of a guarantee they have that they would always have that cottage on those generous terms, either. What happens after Sir John dies? Is Lady Middleton (or their eldest son) obliged to keep them there? She/he might be kind enough to do so, but is it a sure thing?
It was a little different for the Austen ladies for three reasons. First of all, Chawton was in their immediate family. Even if Edward had predeceased them, his oldest son was not going to kick out his aunts and grandmother! Second, they had numerous nieces, nephews, etc. to keep their life busy and interesting. Third, Cassandra did get a little bit of an inheritance from her fiance when he passed away. I'm not sure how much of a difference it made to their lifestyle, but it was something.
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