Jane Austen's novels are frequently called courtship novels because they trace one or more young woman's courtship experience Courting followed various rules and protocols that made getting to know each other far more difficult for young couples than it is today. Just spending too much time together led to gossip and speculation. But what is especially intriguing about reading an Austen novel is seeing how the author, while completely aware of the etiquette of courting, also respects the common sense and good morals of her characters as they deal with society's strict and often unreasonable, even hypocritical, notions about male-female relationships. Despite the difficulties involved, though, young couples met, married, and lived happily ever after - or not.
"Oh Lizzy! Do anything rather than marry without affection." (Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 59)