I'm glad you mentioned this now.....
Posted by Caroline on March 01, 1998 at 16:08:22:
In response to Vicars, written by Linden on February 28, 1998 at 20:54:34
] But what are they like as vicars? Henry Tilney is my favourite Austen hero, but he was probably a lousy vicar. Maybe Mr Collins was actually better - at least he lived in the parish.
] Only Edmund Bertram seems to care much about the actual duties of a vicar - the rest seem much more concerned with having something to do (Edward Ferrars) or getting the money (Mr Elton).
Any reading of an Austen biography (which, of course, we are doing right now in the Library) makes it obvious that JA lived in a society where a) The church was a common profession for a gentleman b) Most churchmen were actually farmers, tutors etc. as well as vicars/ rectors/ curates/ bishops/ whatever, and c) The duties of a churchman usually involved two services on Sunday, and probably at least one every weekday. They also served on parish councils, and visited the poor, indigent and sick.She never mentions any of these things in her novels (except perhaps the two church services on Sunday that General Tilney insists everyone attend...)But she doesn't say an awful lot about anyone else's profession either. Mr Knightly is a landowner and a conscientious landlord, Estate business probably takes up a great deal of Mr Darcy's time,Captain Wentworth's daily routine on board ship, etc., etc.,, but these details are not really integral to the story, so she doesn't put them in.
I would find it very hard to say anything about JA's thoughts on vicars just from her novels, or even from her letters and biographies.
- Saying services Helen 13:56:15 3/03/98 (2)
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