Posted by Caroline on February 26, 1998 at 15:37:02:
In response to Alcoholism, written by Miller on February 26, 1998 at 06:58:09
I understand that alcoholism was rampant in Jane Austen's time.
You do? well, they probably drank more than we would think proper today. Beer for breakfast, that sort of thing. You could look at Hogarth's satirical drawings of Gin Lane and Beer Alley (Gin is bad, but Beer is okay)if you wish. I doubt that anyone did a census of alcoholics at this time, however. Here's one of Jane Austen's quotes on the subject .
`If I were as rich as Mr. Darcy,'' cried a young Lucas who came with his sisters, ``I should not
care how proud I was. I would keep a pack of foxhounds, and drink a bottle of wine every day.''
``Then you would drink a great deal more than you ought,'' said Mrs. Bennet; ``and if I were to see you at it, I should take away your bottle directly.''
The boy protested that she should not; she continued to declare that she would, and the argument ended only with the visit.
Do you think Mrs. Bennet is speaking for the (normally) silent majority?
There is also, in the juvenilia, an account of poor Alice, who flew to her bottle at the merest trifle. But that's juvenile writing, and juvenile jokes.
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