Posted by Caroline on September 25, 1997 at 08:40:40:
In response to Coming Out, written by Courtney on September 25, 1997 at 05:11:55
] I'm sure this has already been discussed (but I don't know how to find it) and is quite elementary to everyone, but I'm dense... okay?
Courtney, first of all, don't feel dense! Every one of us has asked that question to themselves, some time! And it has been discussed, but not on this board.It is buried somewhere in the P&P Archives, and those are so big, that everyone has trouble searching them!
A girl "coming out" meant that she was officially recognised as being grown-up, of marriageable age. Before coming out she wouldn't have gone to assemblies, big parties etc. For those that were grand enough, "coming out " would involve being presented at court(i.e. they would be debutantes)
Since the process involved quite a bit of expense, most families would only have one or two daughters on the marriage market at a time. The fact that the Bennets have five could be seen as a sign of their desperation!
There was no particular date for coming out. Lydia is fifteen, Jane is twenty-one or twenty-two, at the beginning of the story. However, I would say that Lydia is probably rather younger than most young women who are "out".
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