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By F B Pinion

A Jane Austen spouse: A severe Survey and Reference ebook via F. B. Pinion 1973 Hardcover 342 pages together with Index Macmillian

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Less than five and a half years elapsed between the final revision of Sense and Sensibility and the completion of Persuasion. Though labourers, no doubt, breakfasted early before leaving home for work, the gentry did not usually sit down to breakfast before ten o'clock (SS. xiii). It was one of the two main meals of the day. The time before breakfast was usually spent in work or recreation: at Bath and Godmersham Jane Austen sometimes employed it to write lengthy instalments of her correspondence to Cassandra (Letters, 71, 188, 196); Fanny Price, Edmund assumed, read a good deal; at Barton, Edward Ferrars had time to walk into the village, and attend to his horses; at Lyme, the Uppercross party went for a stroll and then returned into the town to enable Louisa Musgrove to do some shopping.

Some villages had 'dame' schools (MW. 1-4), best described in William Shenstone's The Schoolmistress (1742); others, charity schools. William Gilpin was responsible for the inauguration of a number of Church of England schools in Hampshire, but most of the 'voluntary' church schools which provided elementary education in the nineteenth century, before the Act of 1870 made State education compulsory, were yet to be built. Middle-class parents could send their children to private schools such as Mrs Goddard's or Mrs Griffiths'; wealthier families had a number of options.

Men who were both surgeons and apothecaries were becoming more common as a result of the training given in Scottish medical schools. General practitioners, however, were not officially recognized until 1815, when examinations were made obligatory at the end of the apprenticeship period. This had often been unsatisfactory; during his first period as an apprentice, Crabbe spent most of his time delivering medicines on foot in a large country district or toiling on his master's farm. Country districts were often a prey to 40 A Jane Austen Companion quacks and charlatans.

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