P200: Little Charles’s Collar-bone — 29 Comments

  1. And here we read why Wentworth wanted Anne to be the one to stay with Louisa after her fall at Lyme! Mary is useless, even a distraction, while the other two just carry on about how they could not do what Anne is doing…and to mention it being due to her age – Really? Anne was marvelous, taking into account how each servant was acting and sending the young brother out of the room. Thank you for this “bedtime” chapter for me to read. Well done.

  2. Anne is indeed praiseworthy–but the Musgrove sisters make her coolheadedness in the face of this emergency seem more insult than praise! They are nearly as bad as Mary, really. Anne is so admirable, and really, no one sees it except for perhaps Charles and Mr. Robinson in this case. It’s so sad that Anne is practically invisible among her family and extended family/friends; her strength of character is completely undervalued.

    Thank you for this exciting chapter!! I am so enjoying everyone’s contributions to the story! 🙂

    Susanne 🙂

    • Thank you, Susanne! Well, we know Captain Wentworth will soon appreciate her coolheaded ness as he should, don’t we!

  3. Grrr! How awful for Anne that they explain her cool-headedness that way!! Shame on them. If this were a pantomime I would boo them loudly. “Older,” indeed!!

    Had a good laugh at several points, Diana. A really good piece to show the potential seriousness of the accident. I can’t help looking ahead to where Mary insisted on going to the dinner and left Anne behind to nurse little Charles. Another loud boo!!!

    • Thank you, Monica! I think Anne is pretty inured to the awful things the Musgrove’s say about her…after all, her own father and Elizabeth are so much worse!


  4. Talking about Anne as if she weren’t present at the table; how unfeeling. I’m glad Anne was there , otherwise what might have happened to poor Charles. Not a lick of sense among anyone….the servants have taken on the ‘sense’ or lack thereof of the mistress.

    You did a wonderful job bringing out the potential seriousness of such a fall. Of course Anne could keep him entertained.

    As Sheila said, Mary is useless in a crisis. Curious to see what transpired in Lyme after Louisa’s fall. Lovely writing, Diana.

    • Thanks, Deborah. Yes, if we did not know Anne will receive proper treatment and respect from Captain Wentworth for the rest of her life, I think this would be pretty hard to take!


  5. I feel sorry for Mary and then I want to smack her. Shows how selfish she is because she is now the one that is going to die even though it is her son that is injured. The Musgrove girls talking about Anne in front of her and commenting on her age reinforced my opinion of them as immature, self-centered little twits, especially Louisa.
    Anne was as you would expect” controlled, efficent and caring; all those things that make her who she is and gives her the ability to move forward even though her life would put Mary in the grave. Very well done and added to all more depth to all the characters personalities.

    • Thank you, Maggie! Yes, Austen deliberately shows Anne’s devaluation to make us appreciate just how much Wentworth’s value for her means…it enhances the romance so much more!


  6. Good morning everyone, I agree all of you comment, Mary is very selfish person, she only thinking herself need love and care, she doesn’t think other people need especially her children and husband and her sister feeling, why get marry if you don’t care your own husband and kids, good people always suffer more than bad people, I like the drawing and story.

    • Thank you Linda. Yes, nobody was better at depicting selfish people than Jane Austen. It gives us a lot to write about!


  7. Mary: My son has fallen out of a tree and I am going to die. Really? That woman and her whole Elliott uselessness. LOL I found it interesting how you highlight Charles’ inclination toward Anne. He did want to marry her first…one must wonder if he lived his everyday regretting settling on Mary. =D Especially when Anne was visiting.
    Very well done, and show’s Anne’s strength, not her weakness (which is the thing about Persuasion that drives me nuts).

    • What a great phrase, Stephanie, “the Elliott uselessness.” Spot on! Well, Charles is practical and good natured and accepts his lot – but how could he not wish he’d been able to marry Anne!


  8. Brilliant scene, Diana! You managed to weave in so many themes! Anne’s dependability, Mary’s hysteria, everyone’s depending on Anne, Henrietta and Louisa’s opinions about Wentworth plus a foreshadowing of events in Lyme! So much good stuff in this. My favorite line: “She twirled and tottered, tearing her hair, until she would surely have fallen, had Anne not grasped her at once.”

    • Many thanks, Susan! I have to admit that the twisted and tottered line is the one I giggled at while writing! 🙂

      Diana in the Toronto airport

  9. I just keep hoping that Captain Wentworth will eventually see Anne!!! Henrietta and Louisa are as useless as Mary the way they speak of Anne. In one of the Austen P&P variations, Jane finally ‘loses’ her temper as it were, and speaks her mind, much to surprise of Bingley and her family. I hope Anne does the same.

    • Thanks for your comment, Hollis. Well, we know Captain Wentworth will “see” Anne in time, but whether or not she will lose it and speak her mind, remains to be seen!


  10. Anne shines in this chapter..a cool head in a crisis. Everyone treats her as an afterthought, until an emergency, when she steps forward and handles things so well. Mary is completely hopeless…those poor boys and Charles..The Musgrove girls aren’t much better, and the way they speak of Anne in her presence is shameful. Charles seems to be the only one who appreciates everything she does. Looking forward to Wentworth’s view on Anne’s treatment.

  11. My goodness! I was waiting for the chickens to start squawking and the pigs let loose hearing Mary claim she was going to die!!! Not only is Anne calm in a crisis but she has the patience of a saint! And to think that Mary recovers well enough to go to dinner to meet Captain Wentworth!

    • Hi Carole, yes, funny thing about Mary isn’t it, how fast she recovers when it suits her!

      Best wishes, Diana
      Who has just landed in LA after a lovely smooth flight from Toronto!

  12. I also thoroughly enjoyed your excellent chapter, Diana, and agree with the foregoing comments! Wonderful depiction of all the activity and bustle… and I loved the clever foretelling of the scene at Lyme. As I was reading it, I kept thinking, “He (or She) who can keep his head when all around him are losing theirs, is truly great!”

    • Thanks, Carol. What you say reminds me of that poem, “if you can keep your head when all about you, Are losing theirs and laming it on you,” which I think is by Rudyard Kipling. Sounds like Anne – and you know Kipling was a big Austen fan. I think we’ve made a discovery!


  13. Really entertaining! As I was reading this, I couldn’t help think about how in “those” days, it was much more of a mystery what might have resulted from a fall from a tree — no xrays or “real” medical treatment to be had. So certainly a small injury could have developed into something very serious and there wasn’t a whole lot that could be done. But it just makes Anne’s calm presence of mind all the more impressive because as a parent you’d be expected to resort to hysterics to see your child unconscious. Except that Mary took that to a real extreme so that she remains the focus of attention!

    I also noticed Charles certainly sees Anne’s good qualities here and was more caring in his interaction with his son than Mary was. In a couple of these P200 chapters, there is more background on his character – it makes me wonder, is he going to get more development in these chapters? Maybe if only as an example of marital suffering? I remember him as only peripheral to the original story.

    • Thanks, Kathy! Charles was a pretty minor, peripheral figure in Persuasion, but you know Jane Austen gave even the minor characters more depths than most writers do with minor ones! By their nuances, the ways they react to even tiny things, you know them, and that is what makes writers like those here able to build and expand and imagine “variations.” I don’t know if the others will be dealing much with Charles, but I’m doing another story with Charles and Mary next week, and I will certainly keep your comments in mind!


  14. Fabulous, Diana! I so enjoyed re-visiting this scene in glorious detail and watching the dynamics between the different characters.

  15. Thanks for showing us Anne’s courage in nursing little Charles, Diana. This is why people always turn to her when they are in trouble or injured. She’s reliable, dependable and knows the right words to say to comfort her loved ones.

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