Jane Austen educatin’ the kids

March 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

As some of you may know, one of my majors at university is Medieval Studies, and yesterday Jane Austen popped up on campus in the most unlikely of places – my Europe in the Middle Ages history class. Yesterday’s lecture dealt primarily with a comparison between English Common Law and the Laws of Cuenca, one of the pertinent points being that facets of English primogeniture, such as the entail, were already in use in the 12th century.

And on this point our professor commented, “And anybody who’s seen Pride and Prejudice knows what an entail is. All those daughters left without estate or income because the property is legally entailed away from the squire’s natural children in favor of a male heir.” And a murmur of understanding rippled throughout the lecture hall. Nice one, Austen.

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