Background.

Sketches by Boz
  • The mother was perfectly aware of the intended marriage of both daughters; and the young ladies were equally acquainted with the intention of their estimable parent” is a quotation from Sketches by Boz, Tales, Chapter 1 (The Boarding-House).

Context.

Quotation describing the Maplesone family, a mother and her two daughters, Matilda and Julia, who are lodging at Mrs. Tibbs boarding house in Bloomsbury. Mrs. Maplesone is a widow and is clearly wanting her two daughters, who are now in their twenties, to find husbands. The daughters are also well aware of their need to find husbands and be less of a burden to their mother.

Mrs. Tibbs has taken six lodgers into her establishment. One group are three single men, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Septimus Hicks and a Mr. Calton. A second group is a middle-aged widow, Mrs. Maplesone, and her two daughters, Matilda and Julia. Both are in their twenties, and also both single.

Sketch produced by George Cruikshank for The Boarding-House, Chapter I, published in the 1836 collected work Sketches by Boz.

Source.

Taken from the following passage in the sketch The Boarding-House.

It would require the pencil of Hogarth to illustrate—our feeble pen is inadequate to describe—the expression which the countenances of Mr. Calton and Mr. Septimus Hicks respectively assumed, at this unexpected announcement. Equally impossible is it to describe, although perhaps it is easier for our lady readers to imagine, what arts the three ladies could have used, so completely to entangle their separate partners. Whatever they were, however, they were successful. The mother was perfectly aware of the intended marriage of both daughters; and the young ladies were equally acquainted with the intention of their estimable parent. They agreed, however, that it would have a much better appearance if each feigned ignorance of the other’s engagement; and it was equally desirable that all the marriages should take place on the same day, to prevent the discovery of one clandestine alliance, operating prejudicially on the others. Hence, the mystification of Mr. Calton and Mr. Septimus Hicks, and the pre-engagement of the unwary Tibbs.

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The mother was perfectly aware of the intended marriage of both daughters; and the young ladies were equally acquainted with the intention of their estimable parent.
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