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Persuasion 200: Anne Tells Lady Russell of Charles Musgrove’s Proposal — 30 Comments

  1. I loved the fact that Charles Musgrove comes back to propose again. I also like the way Anne’s character has evolved. I found myself wanting her to accept Charles, if only to get away from her father and sister, but by the end you reminded me that there is Wentworth in store.

    You’ve packed a lot into a short scene, Shannon. I really enjoyed reading it.

    • And that was really one of Lady Russell’s motives too – to see her “so respectably removed from the partialities and injustice of her father’s house, and settled so permanently near herself.”

      How tragic if she had “settled” though. Imagine her meeting Wentworth again years later, now as Mrs. Charles Musgrove in place of Mary!

    • Thanks, Jane! I’m looking forward to yours as well.
      I do feel sorry for Charles, too. He’s a good guy and he deserves better than Mary. In two of my novels, I nearly changed who was going to get the girl because I started to like the other guy so much by the end. I wonder if Jane Austen ever felt like that. Lizzy marries Wickham or Colonel Fitwilliam instead?

  2. Let’s see if I can try to remember what I attempted to post this morning, but deleted instead.

    Poor Charles. He comes back kind of like a puppy to make sure Anne really meant what she said. And of course she did mean it. There was no other choice. And then Lady Russell. Interesting that she momentarily harbored a thought of Anne and that “undeserving sailor”. After 3 years Anne has not forgotten Wentworth and still loves him. Of course every mam would be compared against him and be found wanting. Only 5 1/2 more years.

    It doesn’t surprise me. My aunt had a picture of a mam over her bed in her apartment. I asked he who he was. I don’t remember his name, but he was her love. He died on the Russian front during WWII. She never found another and always compared anyone else to him.

    Beautifully written,Shannon. It brought back memories of conversations from many years ago.

    • Sad story about your aunt, Deborah! It reminded me of a conversation I had at a high school reunion (my 10th?). The guy, somebody I had once had a crush on myself, was still carrying a torch for his high school sweetheart, who had broken up with him. He never got over it, could never move on. Tragic.

    • This reminds me. I used to go with a friend of mine and her grandmother to visit the Grandmother’s friend who was single and we used to go and take her cakes and things. She had this picture in her living room of she and a soldier and would tell stories of dancing and running around…it wasn’t until many years later (when she died) that I found out he was her “one true love” who died in France during WWII and she just couldn’t find it in her heart to replace him. Such devotion.

      • Wow! Another example. Thanks for sharing this, Stephanie. I’m afraid we’ll all be in tears soon, though!

        • Sorry to have started such a maudeline conversation, but it proves the point of Anne’s later comment when she States to Cap’t Harville,”All the privilege I claim for my own sex…is that of loving longer, when existence or when hope is gone.” Oh…and she was actually my greataunt. In the cases web mentioned above…how sad none of them could move on…..I wish I had taken a picture of the painting above my aunt’s bed…I was a naive 21 yr old almost 30 yrs ago….REGRETS

        • Sorry, got too carried away with the topic and forgot to add…Lady Russell does seem to care for Anne bir is too conserned with position and positioning……..

  3. Interesting twist to see Charles propose a second time, still no great emotion involved just the practicality of the match on his side. It seems Anne is growing stronger, she could have accepted his proposal out of kindness, or duty or just despair, but she remains true to her heart. Lady Russell still annoys me greatly. Wants “the best” for Anne but only what truly suits herself…still cannot bring myself to like the lady.

    • Feel free to dislike her all you want, Stephanie! But I think we should resist the temptation to overly vilify her (no matter how much fun it would be). If Lady Russell is truly a despicable human being, it makes no sense that Anne loves and respects her, before and even AFTER losing Captain Wentworth. It would mean Anne is either a weakling or, at the very least, a terrible judge of character. And we can’t have that for our heroine, can we? 🙂

      • I agree she can’t be all bad as an does truly care for her but even knowing this the woman just rubs me the wrong way.

  4. I wonder if his parents or even his sisters prompted Charles to try again…after all that first proposal was very nonchalant! And if they wanted details from him of how he did propose the first time I can see them sending him back. But, at least he showed some constancy in making a second attempt. Lady Russell – wants her cake and then to eat it too. Wants Anne married but she has to stay local and meets Lady R.’s standards…how dull for Anne would have been that relationship. But we do know she loves Anne which is more that we can say for any other Elliot. Thank you for this chapter. Anne, stand by your man.

    • Do I hear Tammy Wynette singing? (“Stand by Your Man”)

      It’s interesting to speculate, isn’t it, Sheila? That’s what keeps a lot of us here at Austen Variations up nights. We keep asking, “But what if….?” Thanks for your comments!

      • Oh, yes, certain songs play with certain events – I just about always have music in the background. Anne needs to hold on to that refrain.

  5. But Charles is such a fine man! But so is Wentworth! Sigh…. Charles deserved a kinder wife….

    Thank you for the visit with Anne!

  6. This was so well written. Is it telling that Lady Russell is thinking of Anne as her protegee? Poor Charles for being so persistent, but about to be rejected again. Though he must bounce back pretty well to become engaged to the other Elliot sister. I guess he does seem like a decent person, and it’s too bad that maybe he couldn’t have just settled for being a good friend to Anne, who had a short supply of them. Although I have to resent Lady Russell, for harming Anne in this aspect of her life, perhaps she’s redeemable for being a caring person to Anne in general.

  7. Thanks, Kathy. Yes, however ill-advised we may think Lady Russell’s advice, I do think SHE thinks she’s doing what’s best for Anne. As for Charles, I see him as an easygoing sort of guy. If anybody can put up with Mary, it’s probably him!

  8. I liked your chapter, very much, Shannon. You have Charles more articulate and perhaps intelligent than he appeared to me before… I enjoyed that… And glad too that he still seems not to be deeply invested emotionally… which makes for a comfortable relationship between them in the future, I think! Sheila’s scenario of his sisters wanting to hear the whole story and encouraging him to try again makes sense… because they like Anne so much! 🙂 Looking forward to more inside stories from you all!

    • Good comments, Carol. Thank you. I’m enjoying writing for P200 a lot. It’s especially fun (and especially confusing) for me because I’m working on a Persuasion tie-in novel at the same time. The stories run parallel, and I sometimes forget who I’m writing about – Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth, or Jane Austen and Captain Devereaux. Haha! Yes, more of both to come!

  9. Charles came back the next day and proposed again? He’ll be twice disappointed as Anne will not accept and love him after knowing Wentworth. Anyway it’s great scene, Shannon. You did well to articulate the fact that Anne will always measure any other suitor to her great love.

    • Thanks for your comment, Luthien. There’s no details in Persuasion about Charles proposal, so that was left to our imaginations! It was fun to write his second try. I hope he wasn’t too heartbroken. 🙁

  10. Lady Russell may have Anne’s interest at heart but I also think she has her own…I liked how you portrayed her but I’m not a fan of hers. As for Charles, he is decent chap but they would not have been happy, not after the deep love she has for Wentworth. Thank you Shannon and can’t wait for your book to come out!

  11. Pingback: Persuasion 200: Lady Russell and Anne Consult on Retrenchment - Random Bits of Fascination

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