Frances Spalding

‘That Necessary Article Cash’

Constable in Love: Love, Landscape, Money and the Making of a Great Painter


Fig Tree 220pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

‘A large income’, remarks Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park, ‘is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.’ Her cynicism offsets the untainted goodness of the heroine, Fanny Price, who is just a little exasperating. Certainly, in the early nineteenth century, lack of money could call a halt to marriage, as it did for John Constable. After declaring his love for Maria Bicknell, he had to wait seven years until his financial position was in good enough shape to make her his wife. ‘My Dear Sir,’ Maria wrote, early on in their relationship, ‘His [her father’s] only objection would be on the score of that necessary article Cash.’

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The 25th Bad Sex in Fiction is happening in a week. There’s a press release if you’re the sort of person who wants a press release ,
    • sorry I can’t spell fluttering. I was agitated.,
    • Probably try and get an announcement out later, for all these male writers who think of fluttering inner muscle sheaths...,
    • He felt the muscles far inside her flutteriung around him,
    • Next week sees return, and we've got discounted tickets on offer, right here: ,
    • We're rarely topical - tricky as a monthly magazine - but we've an article this month all about Laurence Binyon, po… ,
    • "We will remember them" - who wrote those words, and why have them become our terms of memorial? ,