Because she cared deeply and primarily about young women, because she suffered from a rooted disrespect for parents, especially fathers, because she saw the only act of choice in a woman's life as the making of a marriage upon which alone depended her spiritual and physical health, Austen turned a severe and serious eye (for here she was rarely satirical) on the economic life of her heroes. Heroes were potential husbands, a momentous role. What I am suggesting is that Austen's realism in the matter of money was in her case an essentially female phenomenon, the result of her deep concern with the quality of a woman's life in marriage. — Ellen Moers, 71


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