I had fun writing the following, but bloggerland continues to confound me, and I have not been able to get any blog to accept my name or password. So Mr. D. Cous of the People's Republic, you wanted a snarky response!
Dear Mr. Cous,
This is your real opinion? This is your final resolve? Very well. I shall now know how to act. Do not imagine, Mr. Cous, that I shall even condescend to respect your opinions. I hoped to find you reasonable, but depend on it I will carry my point. Don't honor with your regard, for what it's worth, any people who try to pass Miss Austen off as a feminist. Miss Austen is a writer of comedy. Nothing more, but not the least in her accomplishments. If you cannot find it in your sensibilities to laugh out loud at the absurdities in her literature, then I take my leave of you. I am most seriously displeased!
I would agree with your assessment that this is literature suited more comfortably in the feminine sphere. Non-gentry males seem to actually like activity, while women have always centered their lives around their close relationships. However, to say disgustingly that nothing happens is a gross insult to the gentry and nobility of our culture. We pride ourselves on our ease of life and our leisure. Cannot you see that your American ideals of independence and industry are counter-cultural to our way of life where so many are economically dependent, and strive continually to move into the realm of gentry where no efforts are required? In fact, they are shunned.
Furthermore, it astonishes me that so few of you modern Americans understand the British countryside way of life, let alone the complexities of living in town. The landed estate was like the General Motors Corporation of the country. Whole communities depended on the financial success of these vast holdings. Because of the necessity of entailment laws, only one male heir could inherit the estate. That meant that the remaining children were given money and positions as recompense for not receiving any land. The male heir often found himself cash poor, and to marry for money was not only needful, but an act of selflessness, generosity, and even charity to his neighbors. Mercenary, indeed! And you, a student of economy of all people, should understand and sympathize with these measures. I would argue that as many men as women found themselves in pecuniary difficulties, and acted to prevent their own fall into degradation. There are always scoundrels, but do not lump them together with people who know what they are about: security, position and the welfare of their whole community.
It is my sincere hope that if we ever meet, my impressions of you, however prejudiced by your disgusting stubbornness regarding the highly respected Miss Austen, will be altered, and that I find you an affable and clever, although unavailable and untitled, young man. I may even condescend to give you my hand if you are suitably dressed and present yourself with some decency. Give my regards to your lovely wife.
Your's very sincerely,
Lady Catherine de Bourgh