Background Information About Pride and Prejudice

How important was social class? Explain your response.
They were very important. Social class mattered a lot to most people. In the novels by Jane Austen, you can see how important various social classes are to everyone. It was very important because it defined how people were expected to live. For example, middle and upper classes lived in big, comfortable houses and they had servants where as poor people were forced to live in terrible conditions.
How were young women educated? What were they expected to study?
In the early 19th century, education for upper class girls concentrated on fashionable accomplishments, music, singing, dancing, drawing, painting, speaking French etc. Many were educated at home by governesses, some went to boarding school.
From the middle of the 19th century, girl’s education began to be taken more seriously. More schools were opened that aimed to give girls a good academic education like boys. Girls also began to go to college.
Research entailment and explain how property and wealth was passed down through a family.
The purpose of an entail was to keep the land of a family in the family. The heir to an entailed estate could not sell the land. The complications arising from this were mainly of the upper classes because it was leaving many people wealthy in land but still in lots of debt. An entail was a legal device used to prevent a property from being broken up. This meant that the wealth and land would be handed down to one’s eldest son or heir.
Which jobs were available to women?
Most working class girls would have left school at quite an early age; girls went to work as young as ten or twelve. For upper and middle class girls, teaching was one of the few respectable occupations, Women teachers were paid a great deal less than men. Some women earned a living by writing. There were a lot of successful female novelists in the 19th century, most famously women like Jane Austen, the Bronte’s etc.
For working class girls,...