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The Vulgar Question of Money: Heiresses, Materialism, and the Novel of Manners from Jane Austen to Henry James
It is a familiar story line in nineteenth-century English novels: a hero must choose between money and love, between the wealthy, materialistic, status-conscious woman who could enhance his social position and the poorer, altruistic, independent-minded woman whom he loves. Elsie B. Michie explains what this common marriage plot reveals about changing reactions to money in ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 22nd 2011 by Johns Hopkins University Press
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This book was miserable to read. It was like trying to digest someone's overly thought-out masters' thesis, where the point is belabored and beaten like a dead horse. However, the underlying them WAS appropriate - money was considered vulgar to speak of but necessary for life in the novels (and times) of Regency, Georgian, and Victorian novelists. In Austen's time, marriage was the only social move women could make to better themselves and their stations. They could not work, nor could they mana ...more