If you watched Bridget Jones's Diary back in 2001, it wasn't entirely clear whether matters had gotten better, or worse, for women in the centuries since the publication of the film's inspiration, Pride and Prejudice.
Bridget's desire to leave behind her chaotic, single existence and form a stable future filled with minibreaks, echoed the historic female preoccupation with securing domestic security by finding a man.
Yet, on the 200-year anniversary of the publication of Austen's witty tale about the economics of romance, an interesting survey by Scottish Widows has revealed the new relationship advice Mr Bennet would now be giving his five daughters for the future.
11 Things That Jane Austen Said That Make Us Love Her
While Austen's female protagonists in Pride and Prejudice sought marriage for economic reasons, less than one in three parents today believe their daughters’ financial stability is dependent on having a husband.
In fact, according to a survey of 1,000 families, more parents believe their sons’ financial security is dependent on having a wife (37.7%) than their daughters’ is on having a husband (31.9%).
In the 1800s, parents did not just advise, they made the decisions for their children, according to social historian Professor Jane Humphries, professor of economic history at Oxford University.
However these days, say Scottish Widows, parents encourage children to make their own decisions and most (77.3%) want them to be financially independent by age 26.
"It is unlikely parents will be able to influence their child’s choice of marriage partner given modern ideas about the basis for a lasting and stable marriage, people marry for love and not expedience – in fact parents might be even more convinced about these ideas than children," Humphries tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle
But she also notes that parents can have an indirect influence on their children's marriage prospects.
"Sending children to university not only helps them acquire credentials and training but ensures they mix with (and hopefully marry) a similarly advantaged young person.
"Human capital is today’s kind of dowry but it’s a bride-price too!"
Here are some more life lessons from Jane Austen, according to Zoë Triska, associate books editor, The Huffington Post US
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more