Analysis Of Social Class Mobility And Marriage In Regency England

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MaKayla Tanksley Ms.Hamilton Social Class Mobility and Marriage in Regency England April 30, 2014 “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”(Austen 1) Regency England (1811-1820), lasted just nine years. In 1810, King George III became terribly ill and later was declared incapable of ruling because of his mental state. Thus, the Regency Act was passed making his son, George Prince Regent, the ruler in his absence. This era lasted until George III’s death in 1820, making his son the permanent ruler, now known as King George IV. (Parissien, Steven. George IV Inspiration of the Regency. New York. St. Martin’s Press, 2001) Regency England was known for its development’s in literature, fashion, politics and culture, and courtship. It was an era where many balls and dances took place. It was somewhat a “happy” time, but had its dark sides. The lower classes were looked down upon by the upper classes. Women had very few rights; they were expected to behave a certain way, dress a certain way, and expected to marry. Women were considered property, and once married all their possession belonged to their husband. Marriage was somewhat of a necessity in order to have any type of social ranking. But, it was very rare to marry out of your social class, because most people of a higher class would not allow it. (Vickery, Amanda. The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England. New Haven, CT. Yale University Press, 1998) Socia1 C1ass Mobility In some places, once you were part of a social class, you had to stay in it. You could not marry into another class; work with the other classes, or even associate with the other classes. We@1th, education, ethnicit... ... middle of paper ... ...here was a huge social gap between them, and their marriage upset quite a few people in the upper class. The upper classes made it seem like Elizabeth was unsuitable for Darcy, even though she was quite intelligent. The occupiers of the upper class tried everything in their power to prevent this marriage from happening, because as stated, it would break the natural order of things and bring shame to Darcy’s family. But they were not getting married for the money or social class ranking, but for love. Bibliography Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Modern Library, 1995 Parissien, Steven. George IV Inspiration of the Regency. New York: St. Martin's P, 2001 Morgan, Marjorie. Manners, Morals, and Class in England, 1774–1859. New York: St. Martin's P, 1994 Ashton, John, Social England Under the Regency, Kessinger Publishing, 2006
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