Bennets and Collinses
Posted by Laura Wallace on November 17, 1997 at 21:25:10:
In response to Possibilities, written by Caroline on November 17, 1997 at 18:59:02
Does this work?
I too think it works, but it's stretching things. I think if it had been that complicated, Austen would have explained it to us.
This is one of my favorite puzzles and your solution makes more sense than anything else I've read or thought of.
I find the contention put forward by one of Austen's biographers (Park Honan?) that a young Mr Collins changed his name to Bennet in order to inherit Longbourn, thereby causing a rift in the family, also plausible.
If that is the case, then it is likely Mr. Collins will have to change his name as well (which Austen doesn't mention), and it still doesn't explain how male primogeniture resulted in not one but two heirs who weren't born Bennet.
Furthermore, I don't see why changing one's name as a condition to inheriting an estate would cause a rift in the family. Men did it all the time, or adopted their wives' names with a hyphen.
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