Word of the Week – Competence and ROW80 update

‘Money can only give happiness  where there is nothing else to give it.  Beyond a competence it can afford no real satisfaction as far as self is concerned. ‘

Sense and Sensibility.

Here a competence means enough money.  I discovered this by reading What Matters in Jane Austen by John Mullan.  The chapter on money has been really useful in giving another dimension to one of my opera cape twirling bad guys.

He’s a younger son living of half army pay.  He needs to get money through marriage. Until he secures himself a rich bride, gambling is the principle way he supplements his income.

This realisation helped give him a goal as he’s been bought up in wealth and now forced to try and make his own way in a world where respectable methods of earning money or making name for himself are drastically limited.  Of course he is still self-interested, rather too fond of his own reflection and deluded about his own worth, but I know what truly makes him tick much better now. Essentially he’s a pretty, delicate, incredibly useless piece of decoration and he finds that frustrating.

I’ve also managed to finish the short story I mentioned on Sunday, so no more excuses for avoiding what I should be writing.

How’s everyone else doing?







6 thoughts on “Word of the Week – Competence and ROW80 update

  1. As a total techno-weanie-gearhead about history, and the liberal use of it in novels, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, though I must add that in my present state of impoverished bliss, a competence would bring great satisfaction indeed. The poor gentried really did lack many avenues for income, since earning it was quite out of the question. I think it would be important for a reader to understand that, in order to relate to the character’s frustration.
    Two “yums” up for a particularily scrumptious historical blog. It has inspired me to find some new tid-bit about small town Victorian English life for my own current MG novel. I am up to my elbows in research right now–without making this particular chapter sound like a travel-pamphlet.
    I’m off!
    ~Just Jill

    • Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment. Double check before using the word in a Victorian Novel though as I sourced it from the Georgian Period. Only 20 years earlier but I’ve found words can change their meaning really quick.
      Thanks again.

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