Rich gentlemen got their fortune by living of the people’s rents on their land. This would be called ‘landed gentry’. Both Mr Bennet and Mr Darcy were landowners from the book ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and therefore both made money in this way. Marriage:Married women basically belonged to their husbands. Any house that they owned under marriage and all other property belonging to the wife was the husbands under marriage. In fact the only way that a women could acquire back her property was through her husbands death and in his will leaving his property to his wife. Spare time:Women would normally sit inside and sew together material to create dresses for balls and everyday wear. Women would change their outfits suitably to match the fashion at the time. Another leisure activity popular with gentlemen was playing cards men would sit for hours on end winning and losing a fortune it was similar with the likes of gambling in gambling halls. Card games were of many evening parties ; they provided people who didn't dance with a chance to entertain themselves such as chaperones. Dancers who grew tired from waltzing could also stop and take a break and play cards. As well as this dancing was a popular pastime. Dances ranged from lavish balls at great country house to impromptu dances attended by family and friends after dinner, Dances provided the perfect opportunity for young men and women to find the perfect husband or wife. Most popular exposure to this era of dance comes from the works of Jane Austen shown in her novels. Dances of this era were lively and bouncy, and steps ranging from simple skipping to elaborate ballet-style movements were used. Balls were held during the day as because there was no electricity there would be no light in the evening.
‘Pride and Prejudice’ By Jane Austen And Regency England ‘Pride and Prejudice’:Background information on the novel:Jane Austen began writing the novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in October 1796 and had finished it by August the next year she was then only 21 years old. The novel was originally called ‘First Impressions’ because the appearances of the characters created the plot of the novel but then later on after being rejected it was edited to become the novel we all know and love ‘Pride and Prejudice’. But it was not until the winter of 1811 , 14 years after finishing ‘First Impressions’ that she started altering it into the novel we know today as ‘Pride and Prejudice’. It was soon accepted for publication and officially published on the 28th January 1813. It went on to become one of Jane Austen’s most popular novels. And was most defiantly a best seller. What is the novel about?:Pride and Prejudice is similar to various other Austen novels based on the fact that it is based on the mercenary and the ignorance of people in the C18th. The novel portrays life in the rural society of the day. It tells us of the initial misunderstandings between Elizabeth Benet and Darcy. The title Pride and Prejudice refers to the ways in which Darcy and Elizabeth first view each other. The main subject of the novel is stated in the first
sentence: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." it shows us the need of a wife for wealthy men so they can share their good fortune and sets the main theme of marriage and courtship in the novel. She has also prepared the reader for the storyline of a wealthy man looking for a women.
Jane Austen:Jane Austen was a English novelist who’s books were set upon the middle and upper classes and were notable for their sociable observation and insights into the lives of C18th women. Jane Austen was born on the 16th December 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire. She was one of eight children and only the second daughter which enforced a close relationship upon her with her older sister, Cassandra. In order of birth her sister and brothers were as follows: James, Edward, Henry, Cassandra, Francis, George, Jane and Charles. She began writing in her teens and by the age of 21 she had written the novel ‘First Impressions’ later to become ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Her fans today number in the millions and since the invention of film has come along almost all of her books have been made into hit movies. But it was her family who helped her through the ups and downs of writing for example it was her father who tried to get her novel ‘First Impressions’ published but when she did not succeed her dad persisted her to try again. And her brother helped her negotiate with a publisher to get her first novel ‘Sense and Sensibility’ published. She then went on to publish 'Mansfield Park' in 1814, and then 'Emma' in 1816. But later on that year things took a turn for the worst and Jane suffered from ill health due to Addison’s disease. She travelled to Winchester to get help but unfortunately died their on the18th July 1817. Later on two more of her
novels were published ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Northanger Abbey’. Although only six of her novels were published, her work has been the model for true romance stories since the early 1800’s.
Regency England:The regency period was the time in which Jane Austen first published the book ‘Pride and Prejudice’. It lasted from 1795—1830 and was the time when the likes of Jane Austen started her career. Regency Fashion:In regency times fashion could not be brought from the shops. Of course they sold things like hats, scarfs, shoes and other accessories but the garment itself would had to have been handmade. From the shops you could buy different printed cloth and tailor it to your fitting. Normally the top of the dress would be of a tight fitting and the bottom was normally left a little looser. Women normally spent their time sewing together outfits for both day and evening. But of course it was very expensive creating these outfits and so when the fashion changed ladies would edit their outfits accordingly. Large romantic wide hats were popular during the regency. These hats would be trimmed with feathers, loops of ribbon and bows. But sadly they were out by the 1840’s. Another fashionable type of hat were bonnets. Loose uncut ribbon ties were a popular choice on bonnets and by 1828 both bonnets and hats were quite vast affairs. Skirts were also a big hit and from 1820—1825 wider skirt hemlines came into fashion. Skirts were gored into panels between 1820 and 1828 so that width could be added to the hemline whilst keeping the waist clear of bulk. There were many other different aspects of fashion including the hair which was often tied into something called an ‘Apollo Knot’ or the ‘Madonna’ as many people thought these styles were to elaborate they were often worn for evening attire. Jobs:The jobs that were available in regency England were far more limited than they are today, especially for women, but you have to keep in mind these were days before TV’s, computers and other electrical equipment. In fact one of the only respectably paid jobs for gentlewomen like that of the Bennet family was the job of a lady companion or governess. In this sort of work you would have to be pleasant at all times, be on duty for 24 hours a day having at the most 1 week holiday per year and only receive 10—20 pounds per year for it all. Of course you would have your board and keep but it was hardly a way to make a living.