Posted by Jessamyn on November 22, 1997 at 00:11:39:
In response to Good point! and another question, written by Arnessa on November 21, 1997 at 13:00:39
] I think we know the Dashwood girls had next to nothing because of John Dashwoods promise to his father, but why wouldn't other people, e.g. Willoughby, believe Marianne had a vast dowry? Because even though she lives only in a cottage now, it is possible that her father, who had been the proprietor of a great estate in Sussex, could have settled a large amount on each of his girls, is it not? So that even though they couldn't touch it now, they could have it when they were married. Maybe I don't understand clearly the money situation is S&S though. Was the principal on 500 pounds a year part of the dowry for the girls? Were they living on the interest from their dowries? Or was the dowry separate? or was there no dowry at all?
I'm no expert, but I don't think dowries worked this way any more by the ninteenth century. I think a woman had a certain amount of money settled on her, and that was her "fortune." If you married her, it became yours (because a married woman didn't own property, her husband did). If she didn't marry, well, she had to live off it.
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