Posted by Ann on July 19, 1997 at 23:49:29:
In reply to Re: Class Liberalities posted by Sylvia on July 19, 1997 at 20:20:42
] Mrs and Miss Bates are indeed considered genteel. Being the former vicar's wife, Mrs Bates and her daughter associated with the best families in Highbury. Although the Bates' fortunes have turned downward, they still enjoy their social connections.
This in many ways describes Austen herself. If it hadn't been for Edward Austen-Knight, Jane might have been in a very similar situation to Miss Bates. This makes the "poverty makes celebacy contemptable" line perhaps more poiniant for the author.