Essay on Female Seducers Are Depicted Throughout A Variety Of Manners

Essay on Female Seducers Are Depicted Throughout A Variety Of Manners

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Female seducers are depicted in a variety of manners. Women were particularly vilified if they were married to another man or had children prior to escaping with her lover. “Elopement in High Life,” is an article that demonstrates how harshly a woman could be criticized for eloping with her lover. Lady Charlotte Wellesley is described as a “miserable woman,” who “is 28 years of age, and the mother of four children, whom, with her husband, who is only 36 years old, she has thus inhumanely abandoned for ever” (“Elopement in High Life”). Lady Wellesley 's is given a dishonorable reputation because she transgressed the ideals of womanhood and motherhood, although this was not the first stain placed onto her family in the court of public opinion. “Lady C. Wellesley is a singular instance of the progress of family corruption; her grandfather was the infamous Sir Robert Walpole; her mother was divorced from Lord Cadogan in 1796, and she will soon be divorced herself” (“Elopement in High Life”).
Young girls were often depicted as being seduced, almost in a predatory like manner. The case of Bedford versus McKowl is a case of a widowed woman suing the man who seduced her daughter over “lost services.” The Bedford versus McKowl case demonstrates the hypocrisy of the Regency era 's expectations on women and men. “The defendant was a married man; he had been for ten years separated from his wife, and instead of imposing himself for a single man upon the plaintiff 's family, he stated fairly his situation, and the young lady went off with him with a full knowledge of it” (“Court of Common Pleas”). The defendant 's lawyer “contended that his conduct was not so atrocious as what appeared in most cases of this kind.” A man in Regency England has...


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...essive fiction attesting to the abuses established power” (Johnson 55).
While Austen does not necessarily condemn women who elope, she does not explicitly or implicitly suggest her approval for such an act. While we cannot truly understand Austen 's thoughts on eloping, we can infer a general cultural distaste for those who chose to break tradition by crossing boundaries. Perhaps the most poignant expression of a woman 's place in society and the boundaries that bind is said by Mary in Pride and Prejudice, “Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable— that one false step involves her in endless ruin— that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful— and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex” (Pride and Prejudice 298).

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