Bingley and Mr. Darcy meet with Mr. Bennet to discuss the possibility of theirrespective impending marriages. Furthermore, yet another mark against Mr.Wickham’s character is his lack of parental consultation prior to his elopement withLydia; it is only after their escape to London that Mr. Wickham has any contactwith Mr. Gardiner (acting as surrogate father in Mr. Bennet’s absence) to settle thearrangements for his marriage. The restrictions placed upon eighteenth centurywomen writers might seem an outdated concept now, but as recently as 1965,married women in France were unable to publish written works or hold a professionwithout their husbands’ consent. ( Fergus 3). She clearly was aware of the limitations placed on women in terms of personalautonomy. Indeed, she makes clear her distaste for women’s helplessness in the eyesof the law. In Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet laments the sorry state of her futureand that of Longbourn if Mr. Bennet is to die, excoriating English propertylawmakers, Mr. Bennet, and his nephew in one fell swoop: “‘I never can bethankful, Mr. Bennet, for any thing about the entail. How anyone could have theconscience to entail away an estate from one’s own daughters I cannot understand;and all for the sake of Mr. Collins too!--Why should he have it more than anybodyelse?’” (Austen 89). The entail of which Mrs. Bennet speaks entitles Mr. Collins, theclosest male relative to Mr. Bennet, to inherit the family estate upon the patriarch’sdeath due to the Bennets’ lack of a direct male heir. This, in turn, would allow Mr.