lliira: Fang from FF13 (Default)
[personal profile] lliira
I have read Pride and Prejudice a zillion times, but only noticed something on this re-read:

Miss Anne de Bourgh is about Darcy's age. So, 28. I had for some reason remembered Lady Catherine saying "since SHE was in HER cradle we planned the match," but it's "since THEY were in THEIR cradles we planned the match." And Darcy has been destined for his cousin "from his earliest hours." I had thought before that Lady Catherine told herself that Darcy hadn't proposed to Anne because Anne had been too young, and that when Lady Catherine said "now, at the moment when the wishes of both sisters would be accomplished in their marriage" yada yada the "now" was because Anne had just turned twenty-one or something. Or even 25, and maybe she wouldn't be able to inherit Rosings if she married before then. But, no. She's Darcy's age. And I've never heard of 28 being the kind of age 21, 25, or even 30 have historically been treated as by law and culture.

Lady Catherine is certainly not rational about this, but I can't conceive of any way for her to be THIS deluded, or for that "now" to make sense. Unless Darcy was... at Oxford until he was 27? (Which would be a whole other kettle of weird.) Or maybe he was traveling Europe? 

Date: 2015-06-27 08:21 am (UTC)
madgastronomer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] madgastronomer
This is going to be badly fragmented because I'm very tired, but possibly I'll have more brain tomorrow and be able to clarify.

I do not know how much this actually has to do with P&P, but there actually is a thing with 21 and 28. One of the ancient philosophers, Plato or Socrates I think, divided up the span of human lives into stages, each of which lasted 7 years. 0-7 infancy, 7-14 youth, and so on. This system is why 21 is a significant age. And 28 is the next marker after that. So that might be it.

Date: 2015-07-16 05:11 am (UTC)
heliopausa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heliopausa
Thanks for this keen observation - I hadn't realised that Miss de Bourgh was, like Charlotte, at the absolute extreme end of what was then thought of as marriageable youth.
So is it her mother's obsession with preserving the noble line (where is the rest of that unnamed noble family?) through cousin-marriage that has kept her from marrying? Or is she genuinely too sick, maybe? (Maybe "now" hints at a return to health - or a desperate last ditch stand as she enters a final decline?

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