The amateur journalist Flora Poste interviewed Elizabeth Bennet about the customs of the latter?s times. Elizabeth reminded Flora of her visit to Cold Comfort Farm. This is only a segment of the interview: ELIZABETH: We had to live with our parents, or an authorized tutor, until we got married, and we couldn?t leave home with any other excuse than marriage because women couldn?t work at the time, and matrimony was the only way to be financially secure and the status of lady.
It was frequent, in the most respected families, that the marriage of two cousins would be arranged so they would keep their good fortune and good name and their family?s honor wouldn?t be fainted by the introduction of a less respectable person. Mr. Darcy himself was intended by Lady de Bourgh (his aunt) to marry her daughter, Anne.
FLORA: Did your family have some kind of arrangements for marrying you or any of your sisters? ELIZABETH: My family didn?t have enough income to have our marriages arranged and my mother encouraged us to seek wealthy and reputable gentlemen instead of a lover.
For her a good income and name were more important than love for an engagement. And sometimes, confused to be the same thing. Thus, my friend Charlotte Lucas married Mr. Collins (my cousin who was to inherit my fathers property when he died) based on his future fortune and his steady prospects rather than her sentiments towards him.
FLORA: I see. At Cold Comfort Farm, where I stayed for some months, they had also have arranged marriages between the cousins living there so that the family could all stay on the farm. Aunt Ada Doom didn?t want them to break the social circle of the Starkadders family. My cousin Elfine was intended to married...