“I became the mistress of Mr. Glenmurray from the dictates of my reason, not my weakness or his persuasion.”(Opie, 88) From the beginning we see how Adeline’s unwed relationship with philosopher Frederick Glenmurray is incompatible with the dictates of England’s patriarchal society. From their point of view heterosexual relationships outside of marriage represent an adoption of lax principles that can only be interpreted as both treasonous and immoral, and women who engage in such activities are defying authority and its rules. Hence, a conservative society opens no opportunity for independently minded women because it means endorsing promiscuous behavior. Interestingly enough Amelia Opie creates a character who,…show more content… Into this error Adeline’s society has fallen and as soon as she decided to be “a kept miss”(Opie 1999:, 116) people concluded that she was no longer virtuous. She could no longer belong to the society of the honorable and righteous women.
“Everybody say that you are a kept lady, and I made no bones of saying so; […]“But what do you mean by the term a kept lady?” “Why a lady who lives with a man without being married to him, I take it; and that I take to be your case, an’t it, I pray?” “But mistresses, or kept ladies in general, are women of bad character, and would live with any man; but I never loved, nor should love, any man but Mr. Glenmurray. I took on myself as his wife in the sight of god.”(1999: 117) Opie does not portray Adeline as an instiller of immoral behavior, but as an defender for the union of a man and woman based on respect, love and freedom: “I should long ago have been his wife; but, from the conviction of the folly of marriage, I have preferred living with him without the performance of a ceremony which, in the eyes of reason, can confer neither honor nor happiness”(Opie, 1999: