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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Inheritance Tilney Style

(I don't recall anyone previously spotting the following choice tidbit in Janeites, Austen L or in any scholarly source. Here is an excerpt from an 1853 book entitled _The royal descent of Nelson and Wellington_ by George Russell French:

"The Earl of Surrey, who was...created Duke of Norfolk after the battle of Flodden Field, had for his first wife, Elizabeth, widow of Lord Berners, daughter and sole heir of Sir Frederick Tilney, the last of a long and illustrious line of knightly ancestors, of whom we find honourable mention in Fuller's Worthies, ....a companion in arms of Coeur de-Lion.... Blomefield states that Sir Frederick Tilney... "inherited all the Thorps," through the marriage of his father Sir Philip Tilney with Isabel, daughter and co-heir of Sir Edmund de Thorp. By Elizabeth Tilney the Earl of Surrey, or, as he afterwards ranked, the Duke of Norfolk, had several
children... the third son was Sir Edmund Howard... afterwards Lord Edmund, was the father of Catherine Howard, who became the fifth Queen-consort of Henry the Eighth..."

It cannot but delight a Janeite heart to know that the "ignorant and prejudiced historian" who as a teenager wrote her own brilliantly absurdist version of The History of England, later subtly carried on her own subversive historical tradition by slyly alluding, in Northanger Abbey, to a real life soldier Frederick Tilney whose (perhaps greedy) soldier father married a rich heiress named Isabel Thorp and thereby came into a rich inheritance, and who was the ancestor of a Queen of England.

Cheers, ARNIE

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