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    #1

    Emma By Jane Austen - Another question

    Thanks for the help.
    I have another line in here:
    Highbury, the large and populous village, almost amounting to a town, to which Hartfield, in spite of its separate lawn, and shrubberies, and name, did really belong, afforded her no equals. The Woodhouses were first in consequence there. All looked up to them.

    First of all,
    if someone says The Miss Martins what should that mean? Martin is her family name but why it is in plural form? is there two or more Miss Matin there? what is the meaning of that?
    what is the purpose of making plural a family name?
    what is the meaning of The Woodhouses? Is that mean the Mr.Woodhouses family or something else?
    Finally, Could you translate for me the above line which I underlined, please!?
    Thanks in advance

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Emma By Jane Austen - Another question

    I have moved this post to a fresh thread, Oliver Twist. Please ask questions about unrelated topics in different thread. The fact that all the sentences come from the same book does not mean that they are related.

    You may find people prepared to help, but I have to warn you that, if you are having problems like this so early in the book, there will be so many questions that members will soon lose interest.

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    #3

    Re: Emma By Jane Austen - Another question

    You are right. I will ask every new question in a new thread.
    So for now, is there any one who want to help me?

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Emma By Jane Austen - Another question

    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver_Twist View Post
    Thanks for the help.
    I have another line in here:
    Highbury, the large and populous village, almost amounting to a town, to which Hartfield, in spite of its separate lawn, and shrubberies, and name, did really belong, afforded her no equals. The Woodhouses were first in consequence there. All looked up to them.

    First of all,
    If someone says "The Miss Martins", what should that mean? Martin is her family name but why it is it in plural form? I believe it is fairly common to use the plural when speaking of the members of the Martin/Woodhouse/Johnson family. is Are there two or more Miss Matin there? What is the meaning of that?
    What is the purpose of making plural a family name?
    What is the meaning of The Woodhouses? Is Does that mean the Mr.Woodhouses family or something else? Yes, most llikely it's the family name.
    Finally, could you translate for me the above line which I underlined, please!?
    Thanks in advance
    As for the underlined part: Highbury was not large enough for people as rich/educated as her to live there. The main family there were the Woodhouses, whom everyone respected there (as they were the wealthiest family in hte village), but still under her level, in her opinion.

    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Emma By Jane Austen - Another question

    'The Miss Martins' is an archaic formality. My sisters, when they were the age of 'the Miss Martins', would have been referred to as 'the Knowles girls'

    b

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    #6

    Re: Emma By Jane Austen - Another question

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    'The Miss Martins' is an archaic formality. My sisters, when they were the age of 'the Miss Martins', would have been referred to as 'the Knowles girls'

    b
    When I was in the VI form in the early 1960s, I was told that Miss Jane Austen (not 'Miss Austen' - that was her elder sister), should have written 'The Misses Martin'. That was the way I addressed Christmas cards to my two maiden aunts, who lived together. Two maiden ladies who lived iwith their brother in my village, however, were known as the Miss Smiths", but two who lived without any other siblings were 'the Browns' or 'the Brown sisters'.

    Nowadays, when all the world and his wife addresses complete strangers by their first names, we'd probably just say "Tracey and Sharon". The term 'maiden lady' would bring forth scornful snorts.

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    #7

    Re: Emma By Jane Austen - Another question

    Thank you, charliedeut and others.
    It really helped me.

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    #8

    Re: Emma By Jane Austen - Another question

    I remember learning that only the eldest sister was "Miss Smith" and the rest were "Miss Elizabeth Smith" or "Miss Olivia Smith," etc. But I believe, if the eldest sister got married, then the second oldest became "Miss Smith."

    I enjoy reading the formality of the manners, in Austen and Wilde, etc.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #9

    Re: Emma By Jane Austen - Another question

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    When I was in the VI form in the early 1960s, I was told that Miss Jane Austen (not 'Miss Austen' - that was her elder sister), should have written 'The Misses Martin'. That was the way I addressed Christmas cards to my two maiden aunts, who lived together. Two maiden ladies who lived iwith their brother in my village, however, were known as the Miss Smiths", but two who lived without any other siblings were 'the Browns' or 'the Brown sisters'.

    Nowadays, when all the world and his wife addresses complete strangers by their first names, we'd probably just say "Tracey and Sharon". The term 'maiden lady' would bring forth scornful snorts.
    I had two maiden aunts who lived jointly as 'the Misses Knowles'. But that was a good 50 years ago.

    I don't know the book well enough any more (I read it several times in my youth), but the mistake may not have been Austen's. She had a way of working malapropisms and hypercorrections and minor illiteracies into her reports of dialogue; the implied 'voice', for example, may have been that of Miss Bates (or whoever was the source of the gossip).

    b

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    #10

    Re: Emma By Jane Austen - Another question

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    the mistake may not have been Austen's. She had a way of working malapropisms and hypercorrections and minor illiteracies into her reports of dialogue; the implied 'voice', for example, may have been that of Miss Bates (or whoever was the source of the gossip).
    Good thinking. It is Harriet who speaks of the Miss Martins.

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