M.T. The Marriage of George and Cassandra Austen
Written by Caroline
(2/2/2003 10:15 p.m.)
It seems to have been a love-match. Cassandra Leigh, of impeccable ancestry and niece of the biggest bigwig in Oxford university, gave her hand in marriage to “The Handsome Proctor”, a penniless orphan dependant upon the goodwill of his not-so close relative to provide him with a very modest living, and probably few prospects. Casandra got married in a wool riding habit, and didn’t have another new dress for two years after that. She became cow-herd, milkmaid and cheesemaker, gardener and potato-planter, as well as wife of a parson, and the mother of several sons in quick succession.
What did she see in him, do you think? Was it just a love match? Or did George Austen have prospects before him, and money behind him ? Was he a young man who was going places, or did she give up a grand life to live in comparative poverty for ever?