Posted by Sylvia on July 30, 1997 at 16:16:16:
In reply to Re: Mr and Mrs Elton posted by CK on July 27, 1997 at 16:15:26
] Each fulfils a social climbing need in the other. ...On Mrs. Elton's part, I'm sure she not only liked his stability, but his standing in society. Mrs. Elton thought her husband equalled Mr. Knightley, Frank Churchill or anyone else in community stature and with her marriage to Mr. Elton, I'm sure she thought they should reign supreme over Hartfield society.
I had wondered why Mrs E who bragged about the wealth of her family would marry a much poorer man in Elton. In Emma2, she brags that she had two carriages and lived in a house with a lot of rooms. But your observation hits the mark. I think that essentially she wanted to be a big fish in a smaller pond. In Bath, perhaps her family, although wealthy, couldn't compete with the much richer families who lived there. So she opted for Highbury society where she no doubt thought she could become queen of the hill.