Posted by Sylvia on July 24, 1997 at 20:07:59:
In reply to Re: How large is large? posted by Kathleen (Kaf) on July 24, 1997 at 17:13:24
]I think there are two reasons for this. ...The second is that being the 1st family of Highbury the vast majority of the people from Highbury would be beneath them and not part of their daily lives.
Highbury is indeed populated with a variety of people--some of which have minor parts in the book and others that are merely alluded to (the Martins, Mrs Goddard and her boarders, Mr Perry, William Larkins, the gypsies, et al--Miss Bates' speeches contain a whole host of characters.) But I agree that Emma didn't interact with most of them because of the Woodhouses' place at the top of Highbury society. I think JA established this social order and placed the Woodhouses at the top as a device to illustrate some of the characters' foibles and consequent folly. One is Emma's snubbing of Robert Martin, the farmer, as too low for Harriet and in turn, Mr. Elton's snubbing of Harriet as a wife because of her low level.