to take the whole charge of the little Frank

Category: Education | Type: Discussion | Title: Emma (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Vol: Volume I | Ch: Chapter II

While not Sophie's choice, still, a fateful decision. Weston must choose between keeping his son on limited resources or offering him a future of great wealth. The choice is made harder by the character of the Churchills, for he's a weak husband, she arrogant and imperious. Weston gambles the child's future, which calculates a probably imperfect upbringing against eventual wealth and power. Did he do right?

Austen draws on personal experience. Her father allowed his ten-year old son Edward, his third son, to be adopted by a couple named Knight, the man a wealthy cousin and the owner of more than one magnificent house. Knight had presented Austen's father with the rectorship of Steventon. The family occupied the rectory until 1801. The Knights were childless and charmed by the boy. The condition was that he change his name to Knight, which he did. He inherited a magnificent manor and extensive lands. 

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