Darcy's social rank, social things in general
Posted by irl on December 08, 1997 at 23:06:58:
Dearest Pemberley people,
As a veteran viewer of four (4) movies based on JA novels, owner of three (3) of the aforemetioned movies, and reader of one (1) actual JA novel, I consider myself something far away from knowledgeable about social customs in the Regency period. I asked some questions on the newbie board, which The Mysterious HC answered briefly (presupposing, I fear, more knowledge on my part than I actually have), after which s/he referred me to the P&P board. I then reposted my questions on what I thought was the P&P board, only to be gently directed by Jane Too to this board.
So, if I'm still in the wrong place, please forgive my intrusion and point me in the right direction.
Here is a synopsis of my questions:
Does "titled" mean the same as "noble"? If not, what do the terms mean?
Who are the "gentry"? Does it mean any "landed" person? If so, does that mean that you could not legally purchase land unless you belonged to a certain social rank, or was there more mobility between ranks than I had believed?
What is Darcy's societal position? (He's not a lord or anything, so what is he?
What, exactly, is a "gentleman"? It obviously does not have the modern American connotation, since Mr. Gardiner (every bit the "gentleman" in today's parlance) apparently was not one, while Mr. Bennett, Mr. Gardiner's apparent inferior in wealth as well as breeding, was.
One more: Darcy, speaking to Lizzie, refers to Wickham as "that gentleman". Was this merely a figure of speech, or did Wickham in some way qualify as a "gentleman"?
Thanks in advance for your time.
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