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Written by Delories
(9/10/2003 4:23 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR - Fatherless, single females, penned by Debra Mc
..."puppet heiresses" (felicitous phrase!) like Miss Morton were quite common, given the life expectancy in JA's time, hence the literary tradition (not exclusive to JA, naturally), of orphaned characters.
A more extensive discussion of this obviously belongs on "Life and Times", but according to Pool's _What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew_, "it appears that 8% of the children lost both parents by the time they were 15, and almost a third had lost at least one."
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