Monday, April 15, 2013

Lizzy Bennet and Tax Day

One of the things I find intriguing about the Regency Era is the role of women and money. 

Let's take for example the Bennet family. If Lizzy and Jane had not found themselves so fortuitously married what might have happened to the family when Mr. Bennet died and "those dreadful Collinses" took over Longbourn and booted Mrs. Bennet and any of her unmarried daughters out of the house? 

Of course, there's always Mr. Gardiner, the kind uncle who lives in Cheapside, who could be counted on to provide at least a meager living for his sister and her children. 

But the idea that any of the Bennet girls might have gone out and earned their own money in order to support themselves would have been rather scandalous and they likely would have felt that it was their last resort. 

Besides,what are they trained to do? Possibly a job as a governess would be an acceptable position for Jane or Lizzy. But what about Mary, Kitty or Lydia? 

All of this makes me think how fortunate I am to be able to work and earn a living and support myself. I'm not a burden to my family and though I am often concerned about my financial future, I know that I can take responsibility for myself, which was not an option for the Bennets. 

What does all of this have to do with tax day? Well, I'm trying to talk myself into feeling good about filling out all those forms. 

Lizzy Bennet and her sisters didn't have to fill out tax forms, but they also didn't have the privilege of being able to support themselves. 

Okay, I'm still annoyed about my taxes, but I'm feeling a little better.

If only I'd married a man with ten thousand a year! 

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