Jane Austen 'Persuasion' - Context


Women in Georgian Era

  • Only education was at home from mothers, while males got education from schools
  • In charge of the private domain - seen as domestic child bearers
  • Jane West book 'A Letter to a Young Lady' tells young girls of their obligations and roles in society. How they should and should not behave.
  • Had to ask husband for permission to do certrain things
  • Property of father, then when married, they were the property of husband with all of inherited wealth being inherited to husband
  • Parents would invest a lot into 'seasoning' of daughters, normally in London where they would spend a lot to find husbands at galas April - June
  • 'coming out' age at arounf 17
  • Mary Woolstonecraft wrote a book about feminism 
  • Unattatched woman's goal was to find a man, however, she could not make this obvious
  • No husband by 30 = spinster
  • Woman who are married had a higher social status than those women who were not
  • Only men would shake hands
1 of 10

Georgian Society

  • Only higher ranking can call upon lower ranking
  • morning calls between 11am - 3pm. Not allowed to stay more than 30 mins, unless asked.
  • Lady must not call upon a married man
  • Unmarried lady could not write letters to a man
  • well bred men and women = polite, speak softly and do no boast
  • only relatives nd friends of long acquaintance may call each other by their first name
  • Gentleman may not greet a lady in public unless she acknowledges him first
  • women = courtsey, males = bow
  • once intrfuced, you must acknowledge the person otherwise you will be seen as 'cutting' the person and excluding them from your social network, which is a sign of no respect
  • wide gap between riich and poor
  • Beginning of social restrictions
  • Population increased from justin nder 1 million in 1801 to 1 and 1/4 million in 1820
  • Increase of industrialistim - Luddites
  • Feminism increase = Woolstonecrat
  • Prince regent taking over of George III after deemed unfit to rule in 1811
  • Fear of French Revolution
  • Corn Law = social unrest = increase in social mobility
2 of 10

Georgian Politics & Warfare

  • British lost US from their colony = weakend
  • Growing threat from Napolean
  • Corn Law
  • Luddites
  • Miliary and Navy consriptions - Anne's two brohters, Frank & Charles
  • Transfer of power to Prince Regent = political turmoil 
3 of 10

Georgian Dating

  • Gentleman dstinguished by his status, gentry and personal qualities
  • Privat balls and public assemblies = ideal opputrunities for couples to come together
  • Interested partners would becoe better acquanities by chaperoned walks on the countryside
  • gentleman would ask perimission of ladys parents to propose
  • Once proposal was accepted, it was seen as a contracts and only rare occasions it was rejected
  • men must do the wooing
  • before engagment, couples could notprivatles converse. 
  • Must call each other by Christian names
  • Could not touch intimatly
4 of 10

Theme: Love

''There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similair, no feelings so in unison''

''With a heart pierced, wonded, almost broken!''

''Anne always contemplated them as some of the happiest creatures of her acquaintance''

''Being induced to marry Mr.Elliot made her shudder at the idea of the misery which must have followed''

5 of 10

Theme: Gender

''The years that had destroyed Anne's youth had only given Captain Wentworth a more glowing, manly, open look''

''We live at home, wuited, confined, and our feelings prey upon us''

''You always have proffessions, pursuits, bussiness to take you back into the world immeditaly''

''She took control of the reigns and guided the carriage''

6 of 10

Theme: Appearances

''She was only Anne''

''It cut's up a mans youth and vigour morst horribly''

''It's a pity they are not knocked on the head before they reach Admiral Baldwin's age''

''The worst part of Bath was it's number of plain women''

''He counted 87 tolerable women go by without one tolerable face among them''

7 of 10

Theme: Navy

''Brining persons of obsecure bith into undue disticntion and raising men to honours their fathers and grandfathers would have never dreamt of''

''every profession is neccersary and honourable in it's own turn''

8 of 10

Theme: Persuasion

''She had given him up to oblige others''

''Persuasion was exerted in the side of safety, not risk''

''Persuaded by Lady Russell"

''This nut, blessed with original strength. Not a puncture, not a weak spot anywhere.''

9 of 10

Theme: Society

''He considered the blessing of beauty only inferior to the blessing of baronetcy''

''The navy is two points offensive to me''

''Mrs. Smith? Mrs. Smith! Who is Miss. Anne Elliot to be visiting one of thousand Mrs. Smiths down in Westgate buildings?''

''It was not his objec to marry. He was rich''

''He had nothing but himself to reccommend him''

''Anne had such high opinion of the Crofts, she considered her father so very foortunate in his tenants. Kellynch Hall had been passed into better hands''

''Mr. Elliot was rational, discreet, polished - but he was not open''

10 of 10


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Language & Literature resources:

See all English Language & Literature resources »See all Persuasion resources »