found herself obliged to be attached to the Rev. Mr. Norris

Category: Love & Marriage | Type: Historical | Title: Mansfield Park (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Ch: Chapter I

"Obliged" in the sense of compelled.

She owes her marriage to Sir Thoma's being a "connexion." He is friendly with the Rev. Norris, to whom he can offer a lucrative "living" or benefice as an inducement to marry his wife's sister. Women "came out" or entered the marriage market at about 16 or 17. Six years trailing from ball to ball, spa to spa, bodes ill, and for many women another three to five in quest of a husband will likely be even less fruitful.

That the match is viewed through the negative, "not contemptible," suggests the possibility that the aggrieved Mrs. Norris, who perhaps should have been thankful, considered her match of dubious merit. The £1000/year came from tithes (which originally meant a tenth) on the parish's landholders.

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