Here is a posting I just made to my blog for my Oxford class. As it contains some interesting information, I thought it appropriate to publish it here as well.
I read the chapter “Money” in The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen. I read the entire chapter rather than reading only portions of it, and was happy to finally have an explanation for the different incomes provided (what can a family do with £100 or £2000 a year, as incomes are always referenced in Austen novels. I suppose I could have looked it up before, but I appreciated the fact that all of the information presented in the chapter allowed me a better insight into the world of incomes in Austen’s novels.
Also, I was interested to find that there is a different monetary ‘focus,’ so to speak, in each of Austen’s novels. In the first three novels, “money…exists for the most part as a set of restrictive anxieties attached to the romance plot by the narrowest definition of domestic economy” (134). In the last three novels, though, the relationship between the plot of the romance and money is much more intricate: the question of “income” in Mansfield Park (134), “consumer signs” in Emma (136), or “credit” in Persuasion (138).
I found the above information interesting in that it opened my eyes to a new depth of information within Austen’s novels – and now I think I’ll need to re-read them all yet again! There’s always something new.
Citation for the Cambridge Companion follows:
Copeland, Edward, and Juliet McMaster. The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen. 2nd. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 127-143. Print.