Posted by Jessamyn on July 28, 1997 at 23:24:18:
In reply to Re: Getting away from it all posted by jj on July 24, 1997 at 23:30:32
] Does anyone know anything about Jane Austen's father and her relationship with him? It occurred to me while reading these notes that she doesn't seem to make fathers all that likeable. Mr. Elliot of course is the father from hell, Mr. Bennet isn't mean or anything, but he seems quite remote and tied up mostly in his needs, and Wr. Woodhouse is completely selfish. Selfish fathers, although in varying degrees, seems to be a recurring theme.
I don't know the answer to this--I was hoping someone else would say something interesting! But it is true that her father was a not-well-off clergyman with a quite-possibly-hypochondriacal wife and a brood of children to have to worry about, which may have meant not much time and attention for Jane.
Still, I don't know that fathers were expected to be very close to their children at that period. Between their nursemaids and their mothers, the children were pretty well occupied. Anne Elliott delivers that line in Persuasion about how nursing is not a man's province, and I think she really means it, isn't just saying it to calm her sister.