Austen Economic Status
Posted by JW on March 20, 1998 at 12:11:41:
In response to Jane Austen's Economic Status?, written by Amy2 on March 19, 1998 at 20:51:16
] Just read Maggie Lane's book JANE AUSTEN AND HER WORLD, which was very interesting. It made me wonder about Jane Austen's economic status: on one hand, we've been told that the Austens really weren't as wealthy as most modern readers think; on the other hand, the adoption of one of her brothers by a wealthy couple certainly must have infused some wealth into the family. Where did the Austens stand financially in the Regency scheme of things? Thanks!
JW: The point was that while Mr Austen had a reasonable income, it died with him. He would have farmed the glebe land which was part of his income as incumbent of the parish It was also quite normal for an accomplished clergyman to take pupils as a supplement to his income, and did not indicate poverty. Remember that the public schools at this time wre in a terrible stste, and a sympathetic clerical family was the chosen route for many families able to afford a good education for their sons. The choice of naval careers by Parson Austen's sons is also significant. For a family of modest but reasonable means, able to live on equalterms with the country gentry, the Navy was a career open to talents, while the Army needed real money for the purchase of commissions. Two of the sons ended as Admirals, so the career choice was justified.
- ooh! Caroline 16:19:36 3/20/98 (2)
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