Why would she choose to “secure” a husband instead of growing to be an old maid?
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Yes, many people during this period and throughout history have viewed marriage as a contract or transaction. Well to do parents expected their children to marry into families that would extend and secure their wealth and position. Women were married off regularly for financial reasons or benefits. Love in marriage was seen as a bonus... money and security were by far the predominant factor.
Pride and Prejudice