Gentlemen of Uncertain Fortune: How Younger Sons Made Their Way in Jane Austen's England (Paperback)

Gentlemen of Uncertain Fortune: How Younger Sons Made Their Way in Jane Austen's England By Rory Muir Cover Image
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A portrait of Jane Austen’s England told through the career paths of younger sons—men of good family but small fortune
In Regency England the eldest son usually inherited almost everything while his younger brothers, left with little inheritance, had to make a crucial decision: What should they do to make an independent living? Rory Muir weaves together the stories of many obscure and well-known young men, shedding light on an overlooked aspect of Regency society. This is the first scholarly yet accessible exploration of the lifestyle and prospects of these younger sons.

About the Author

Rory Muir is a visiting research fellow at the University of Adelaide and a renowned expert on British history. His books include Britain and the Defeat of Napoleon and his two-part biography of Wellington, which won the SAHR Templer Medal.

Praise For…

“Energetic and scholarly.”—Paula Byrne, Times (UK)

“A readable book.”—Jonathan Guthrie, Financial Times

“Muir gives us plenty of detail—numbers recruited at different periods, premiums paid and salaries earned—he illuminates the hard facts with vignettes of actual lives lived.”—Richard Francis, Spectator

“[A] wonderful, fascinating . . . tour de force.”—Journal of Modern History

Gentlemen of Uncertain Fortune is an ambitious and lively meditation on the prospects in the 1750s–1790s for young Englishmen who considered careers in the church, medicine, the law, banking, the military, the East India Company, or government. . . . One can open this book anywhere and find gems.”—Paul J. de Gategno, 1650–1850

Product Details
ISBN: 9780300273311
ISBN-10: 0300273312
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: August 29th, 2023
Pages: 400
Language: English