Me: well, yes of course. Robert Ferrars is always ridiculous.
I don't know much about Regency architecture: but here're a few things I've found in an internet search.
Some of the cottages were quite spacious and elaborate and cost quite a lot to build. That's why Robert doesn't have enough money for one; it's not the kind of cottage that he can just go and find the tenants on his mother's estates living in.
This cottage, according to wikipedia is a 'Ferme Ornee' (Perhaps that was the French for 'Cottage Ornee) and belonged to Marie Antoinette.
See, very 'picturesque' but totally impractical. Imagine any amount of Lady Elliots trying to figure out planning a dance in that building, despite Robert's help.
Here are some examples of Fermee Ornee Cottages:
Cottage Ornee pictures - Wikimedia
Cottage Ornee - Bing Images
Cottage Ornee - Google Images
Ferme Ornee Wikipedia
I hope you'll forgive me for this digression into Regency architecture and understand Robert Ferrars a little more. :D
Me: I still think that Robert Ferrars is ridiculous.
Well, yes, but that's a topic for another post.