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|A good point,
Written by Anselm
(9/23/2009 8:23 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Education :-), penned by Barb JA
...which is highlighted by the relevant descriptions of Edward and Lucy. Of Edward, JA comments in Ch.3:
His understanding was good, and his education had given it solid improvement.
And her comments on Lucy in Ch.22 include:
...her powers had received no aid from education, she was ignorant and illiterate, [was deficient in] all mental improvement, [and wanted] information in the most common particulars
Note in particular that both have abilities/powers/understanding, although even here, Edward's "understanding" perhaps implies something more fundamental to his character than do Lucy's "powers" and "abilities". It is her failure to properly develop them that is represented as warping her.
"But she was only a female, and they weren't educated properly in those days" is no excuse. Jane Austen's own formal education amounted to an absolute maximum of three years at school; otherwise, she made good use of her father's library of 500 books, many of them doubtless acquired from 1773 to 1796, when he taught boys as a private tutor - as did Lucy's uncle, Mr Pratt.
(Looks threateningly at audience) Now, you wouldn't be implying that Jane Austen is anything like Lucy, would you??? No, I thought not. Let's keep it that way, shall we?
Imagine Edward's misery after five years or so of marriage to an intellectual and moral pigmy like Lucy. An interesting consequence re the Palmers is explored in Barbara's message, linked below.
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