Emily Eden was the daughter of the 1st Baron Auckland, a close confidant of Pitt. She was thus well placed to observe the manners and mores of nineteenth century aristocracy. A huge admirer of Jane Austen, her works reflect this in their perception, tongue in cheek humour and benevolence toward the victims of her pen. 'The Semi Attached Couple' is a revealing insight of attitudes and customs within marriage. Miss Eden asks, among other questions, what happens to a man, immediately after marriage, who believes his wife dislikes him? This set in a context in which people 'may all hate, all envy, all rival each other; they may say everything that is ill-natured and do everything that is mischievous but the general effect, as painters would call it, must be harmony'.
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