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What does Austen mean when she writes like this?

Re: _____shire...

Hello Chris! Good question...

Honesty forces me to tell you that I'm not sure. My guess is that Austen didn't want to name names within the context of the military to avoid problems. After all, Pride and Prejudice takes place in an era during which there was great worry that Napoleon might cross the Channel!

Who knows, perhaps authors weren't even allowed to do that, even if the names were fictional.

I promise though, to check this out more thoroughly.

Re: _____shire...

My first point seems to be correct. Furthermore, the names within such a context weren't relevant for the development of the story.

Hope this helps.

Re: _____shire...

You'll also see that with Austen & her contemporaries, they use a similar thing (for lack of a better term!) to denote a titled individual, such as Lord ______ or Viscount _______ . This was done so as not to offend the individual who held that title, as it was assumed that you were writing about *that* person.

Re: _____shire...

Thank you for the extra information, 32flavors, and welcome aboard!

Re: _____shire...

Here's a link that provides some information for you:

Re: _____shire...

Thanks for the info, Lisa!

Re: _____shire...

There are a couple of words on the subject in The New York Times, March 11, 2007.

The writer is discussing a movie called "The Earrings of Madame de..." (that's the exact title of the movie; the woman's name is not complete), and this is what he says about the woman's husband:

"Monsieur de (his last name is abridged to create the impression dear to 19th-century novelists that the characters are based on real people) is a well-to-do gentleman...etc."