Persuasion 200: Mary Insists Anne Come to Uppercross by Mary Simonsen — 34 Comments

    • Don’t you think that Anne must be good at tuning people out? If she wasn’t, she’d be crying all the time.

  1. Leave it to another selfish Elliot relation to complain about the reverend doing what he is supposed to be doing in church!

    I feel as though you’ve given us a glimpse into Anne’s sarcastic train of thought as her sister natters on about her terrible life. (“There was nothing wrong with Mary; she was as healthy as an ox and ate like one.”) Again I feel sorry for Anne, but on the bright side she doesn’t have to relocate to someplace she doesn’t like along with her even more tiresome father and older sister!

    • Hi Kathy. I thinking going to Bath to socialize must have been difficult for Anne. I think she was more of a stay-at-home type person–take care of the nest. Considering that everyone told her that she was past her bloom, I can’t see her wanting to head for Bath.

  2. I loved Mary’s last statement,”how that man does go on.”. I found myself in Anne’s place making her thought,’As do you, but at least he’s supposed to’.

    Mary is so unfeeling to say, ” nobody will want you”, “you will only be in the way” and ” be of use to someone”. Ugh! She’s as bad as Sir Walter & Elizabeth. She is a self-centered, thoughtless hypochondriac. Mary has it so good, but all she does is complain. Poor Charles.

    I like how “Anne pondered” while Mary talked & talked & talked. So much for us to ponder in so short a time. Anne is so put upon and treated in such a belittling manner. In order to put up with all this with such equanimity she has to be a very strong person &, I think, Mrs. Russell must have helped her put all this into perspective by giving Anne someone to talk to. I so feel for her.

    Thank you Mary. As usual it is beautifully written. I enjoyed this chapter very much. 🙂

    • Fortunately, Mary does not require a response. If Anne just nods her head, Mary thinks she’s listening. Appreciate the comment and compliment.

  3. If Lady Russell was so concerned about Anne why didn’t she go sit on the back pew. To me Lady Russell is almost as bad as the other Elliotts. For Mary to go behind Anne’s back to Elizabeth and for both older and younger sister to be so crass is expected but this is an excellant example of the personalities that surround Anne. Very well done and a great chapter.

  4. What a pity that Anne is the only one in the family who cares about anyone else. The rest are deficit in the sensitivity gene, and Anne seems to be the one who inherited any. It is ironic that selfish Mary gets Anne out of the trip to Bath temporarily, just by being selfish and whiny, which seems to be her default setting. No matter what happens, Mary will be selfish, obtuse, and whiny. Who knew that it could be an advantage to Anne?! There was some nice comic relief in this scene. We understand even more of the ruthless self-centered Elliots than we did previously. Like Maggie, the thing that strikes me is Lady Russell choosing to sit with the Elliots instead of Anne. There really is no good reason for her to do so, other than a touch of arrogance and inflated sense of self. You could make the argument that she is Sir Walter’s equal, but she could be just as equal anywhere in the church. She is Anne’s friend and cares about her, so why not sit with her instead of Sir Walter and Elizabeth? And Mary should have sat with her own husband and children, not been queening it over everyone else in the Elliot pew. A thoroughly detestable bunch, those Elliots. Mary is as bad as the rest, but she does provide good comic relief.

    • I think Lady Russell deferred to rank–even though, according to Wikipedia, “a baronet is a hereditary title ranking below Baron but above Knight and does not confer nobility.” But the British do like their titles! Thanks for your comment.

  5. Oh this is priceless! Mary, you have captured the selfishness, and narrow-mindedness and sheer annoyance of Mary Musgrove perfectly!

    Loved the ending again – fabulous! But poor Anne – that this should be preferable to all other choices 🙁

  6. I agree with the PP’s: it is entirely amazing that Anne manages to keep her head when she is the only one without a self-serving agenda. Not another soul gives any consideration to the thoughts and/or feelings of others. Great job Mary! So very apropos that Mary is rattling on when she is SUPPOSED to be listening to the preacher and then be done when he completes his sermon but continues to rattle herself. LOL

  7. I agree with Maggie’s comment about Lady Russell adding to Anne’s problems. Why is she in the Eliot pew rather than Anne? As a neighbor and a Lady at that she must have had her own pew!
    I love Persuasion and Persuasion 200 is a treat. As the writers flesh out the story I am revisiting and revising my opinions of the characters. Love it! Thank you!

    • As the wife of a knight, Lady Russell does have rank, but Anne should be in the pew. It’s Sir Walter’s snobbishness that he wants someone near to his equal with him and the spinster daughter relegated to the rear of the church. But why is it okay for Elizabeth to be a spinster, but not Anne? Because she’s the female version of Sir Walter.

  8. Stephanie L. said it, “Great job Mary! So very apropos that Mary is rattling on when she is SUPPOSED to be listening to the preacher and then be done when he completes his sermon but continues to rattle herself.” – exactly my thoughts. Our pastor would be giving her stern looks if she nattered on in church like that! And then to condemn the vicar! The arrogance of the Elliots – the Elliot pride as the one Musgrove sister stated in the canon. Truly Charles did NOT know what he was getting into.

    And I agree with those who said Lady Russell should have put aside her pride and sat with Anne – that sad young lady – cast aside by all who should hold her dear.

    Frederick, where are you?

    The only thing of any use is that Mary’s selfishness did get Anne out of going to Bath and that she would encounter Frederick again while at Mary’s.

    Excellent chapter, here. Thank you.

    • I think the only thing that can stop Mary from complaining is a sock in the mouth (literally and figuratively).

  9. A wonderfully written chapter..while neither option is very appealing, I like that Anne has decided what she wants to do just hasn’t told the family. Her horrible sisters are so self-centered, Elizabeth has no time or use for Anne, while Mary’s desperate need for attention is overwhelming.Lady Russell, no favorite of mine, claims to care so much for Anne s welfare but rarely does anything for the poor girl, being almost as arrogant and selfish as Sir Walter and Elizabeth..

    • I think Lady Russell means well. Her advice re the Elliots retrenching was great. Unfortunately for Anne, LR’s worst piece of advice was to say no to Wentworth.

  10. With Sir Walter and Elizabeth always treating Anne poorly, Mary would only follow suit as that seems to be all she has ever seen since their mother died. Not that it makes it right, of course. Yes, I too had a good chuckle with Anne’s thoughts too!

  11. Poor Anne. It’s as if she is a servant instead of a member of the Elliot family. I wonder how Mary bulldoze her way into sitting in the Elliot pew although she is now a Musgrove. Wouldn’t it be odd when other genteel folk look at them and found her not sitting with her family but her elder sister is? Why didn’t Lady Russell say something about it or better still sit with Anne on another bench if she doesn’t want to be near Charles and his sons?

    I like the last sentence, Mary. It is like the pot calling the kettle black without her realising it. 😛

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