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|Explanation from Norton Critical Edition
Written by BarbaraB
(9/8/2009 10:41 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, What is a "cottage" anyway?, penned by Louise H
Defined in Samuel Johnson's Dictionary (1755) as "a mean habitation," the cottage later in the eighteenth century was increasingly glalmorized 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, tidily symmetrical rather than irregular, yet a far cry form the affluence of Norland Park, Barton Cottage is not the elegantly quaint abode then becoming fashionable. Sense and Sensibility stages competing attitudes towards cottages and different ideals of rural retirement.
Also, later in the book:
During the first decade of the nineteenth cnetury, cottage ornes--comfortable and sometimes very elaborate cottages specifically designed for gentlemen---had become popular among the fashionable classes anxious to display their sensitivity to nature as well as their affluence. The kind of cottage ___ ___ adores is far removed from the neat but unpretentious abode in which the Dashwood women live.
I don't know that this is the best and most helpful explanation but hope it is a start. If I come up with something else, I will post it.
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