Still more likely
Posted by Amy on November 17, 1997 at 19:39:58:
In response to Possibilities, written by Caroline on November 17, 1997 at 18:59:02
] However, I find the contention put forward by one of Austen's biographers( Park Honan?) the a young Mr Collins changed his name to Bennet in order to inherit Longbourn, thereby causing a rift in the family, also plausible. Indeed, is this not what Jane Austen's brother did ?
One bro did change his name to Knight, as more of a courtesy, I think or a way of saying "thank you for adopting me and giving me all this dough." And there were a slew of hyphenated relations -- Austen-Leighs, Leigh-Perots. Even Jane's 12-hour fiance was a hyphenated kinda guy, though his sisters didn't adopt the name. Weird, huh? And didn't another neighbor change names twice or more? It seemed to be happening all around Jane; she probably is up there in heaven scratching her head, wondering why we are so puzzled about it all the time.
Did the biographer you mention say that s/he thought Mr Collins changed his name specifically to wrest Longbourn from another male heir? Somehow I always feel that there hadn't been so much of a struggle in this generation -- everybody but Mrs Bennet seems so resigned to adn used to the idea. But Mr Collins' father and Mr Bennet did have a breech that Mr C thought needed healing. Maybe it was the elder Mr Collins who changed his name or someone even further back, maybe in hopes of inheriting Longbourn, or maybe in an entirely different set of inheritence circumstances.
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