Persuasion 200 – Epilogue: The Shocking News About Mrs. Clay — 31 Comments

  1. Well, well, well. What a blow to Sir Walter and Elizabeth! I love the reactions. I too do wonder at Mr. Shepherd’s reaction. I think it’s pretty funny that Elizabeth trusted Mrs. Clay, whose information about Mr. Elliott being attracted to her, drew attention away from the two of them. So vain for Elizabeth to believe everything flattering that was said to her. Just goes to show the shallowness. And Sir Elliott is no smarter. Loved this missing chapter this morning. Thank you Diana.

    • Thank you, Deborah! I so want to continue and see how Mr. Shepherd defends the situation, but P200 is coming to an end!

  2. Poor Sir Walter and Elizabeth, abandoned by everyone, even Anne has left them. How funny this chapter was. Everyone came out of the mess with what they wanted except the 2 that were “better” than the others. I wonder how shabby their clothes really were…what would they do in the age of jeans with holes in them and ragged hems. Thanks for the morning laugh.

    • I’m so glad you got a laugh, Maggie, that makes ME smile! But you know what I think, Sir Walter and Elizabeth are so impossible about their perfect clothing, their stuff probably is not really all THAT bad! I mean, maybe they have to keep wearing the same things to parties. Life is tough!

  3. And speaking of clothes – they had not the use of deodorants to help protect such from sweat stains nor detergents like we do which could remove such. So their appearances would deteriorate further.

    Just desserts for these two! They deluded no one but themselves while looking down their noses. I do wonder if Shepherd will remain in Sir Walter’s employ for long. And, is he an honest steward? I always wondered if he was “putting a little aside” while he observed the careless economies of these two. Neither of them would think to check over the books and would leave it to him implicitly. Bad me for such thoughts.

    Thank you for a satisfying chapter to wrap it all up.

    • Very true about deodorants – fortunately it was a cool climate, and no doubt they wore “sweat shields,” padded inserts that people used to put inside their clothing. Sensible you for such thoughts about Mr. Shepherd! Glad you liked it!

  4. It is so inappropriate of me to be sitting at my desk giggling early this morning. LOL At least the rest of the office isn’t here just yet to hear me. Oh poor Sir Walter and Elizabeth, delusions are rampant betwixt those two. Of course Wallis is right, it won’t affect Mr. Elliot in the long run, but that doesn’t make it easier to take. Very well done Diana!

  5. There! You said it! Sir Walter visited Mrs. Clay in the night. Oh, my! I’d never thought of that but now that you mention it, I am not surprised. I’ve always thought about the implications for Anne leaving her sister and father and not about how they took the loss. Great job, Diana!

    • (evil giggle) Yup, sometimes it’s just more shocking to say it matter-of-factly than have a whole descriptive sex scene, don’t you think? Besides which, does ANYBODY really want to see Sir Walter and Mrs. Clay in flagrante? I think not! Thanks, I’m so glad you liked it, and thanks for the twitter too!

  6. I *almost* felt sorry for Sir Walter and Elizabeth…but just *almost*…. 😉

    Didn’t Mrs. Wallis rub salt into their wounds just a little–and quite enjoyed it?

    Wonderful vignette–I hope for more epilogue chapters!! 🙂

    Thank you!!

    Susanne 🙂

    • Nah, you didn’t feel sorry for them, Susanne. I don’t believe it! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed this, and I too hope for more epilogue. If it’s decided to keep on for a little more, you know I’m there!

    • And as always, it is a joy to me when you like something I’ve done…definitely a mutual admiration society, Jane!

  7. ROFL!!! Oh, this is delicious. Might we have more? I am curious what you would do with Mr Shepherd himself — was he skimming money, what does he think of his daughter’s new status, and does he have other clients with more money.

    “She shook her head with sympathy that might or might not have been genuine.” Heh-heh! The hypocritical Elliots are so deserving of such “friendship.”

    And how long until Sir Walter’s heir finds a new wife with money…

    THANK YOU for the chortles, Diana!!

  8. Oh, how I loved and shared in Mrs. Wallis’ joy in being the “one to tell them”… She was great – so happy and bubbly, and not even a bit embarrassed for them! Hee hee hee! I loved this chapter.

    • Thank you, Julie! Yes, I had a suspicion that Mrs. Wallis was a natural gossip, and loved a really juicy piece of gossip the best!

  9. Sir Walter and Elizabeth got their just desserts! Thanks for this fun peek into what happened when they discovered the truth!

    • I think they’re only beginning to get their just desserts, Kara! Things are not going to be so pleasant for them, henceforth. Glad you liked this! 🙂

  10. I cannot decide which book I love more, P&P or Persuasion. Unfortunately, while there are plenty of P&P offshoots, Persuasion stories are much harder to find. I am so glad I found this website, and I am particularly excited about this Persuasion 200 series. I actually finished all the scenes in one sitting (with a sore neck to show for it). Thank you for your wonderful writing and your insights into what happened behind the curtains. I enjoyed every bit, and I do hope there are more to come! Cheers to all the authors who participated!

    • Thank you, Christine. I have to say that participating in this P200 project was the most enjoyable of any variations project I’ve ever had a part in. I do wish it could go on and on, but it had to end someplace! I’d like to do one of my own, though, so perhaps will go in that direction myself.

      • Would you, please? I already marked down Jack’s new Persuasion title, and it would sure be a treat to have not one, but two Persuasion works to look forward to! Hopefully we will get a sneak peak here too?

        • Christine, the fact is that I am retiring this year from my job at Warner Bros, precisely in order to be able to write full time. I hope to write plenty of Jane Austen-related novels, and you can bet I’ll preview them all here! That’s what Austen Variations is all about, and can you imagine how excited I am at the prospect of being able to write as much as I like? Thanks for being interested.

  11. The pretty, silly Mrs. Wallis–exactly so!. Yes, the father and daughter got their just desserts indeed. But I must confess–heretical thought–that I always thought Mr. Elliot and Elizabeth would have been even more perfect just desserts for one another. And he would have had sense enough to know that getting Mrs. Clay away from Sir Walter wouldn’t have stopped him from falling prey to some other designing woman. Now he’s blown his chances for an inside situation that would have given him permanent influence over Sir Walter.

    Dare I disagree with Jane?

    • Delightful to hear from you, Gracia Fay! I have to admit I never thought of your solution – but now that I hear it, it makes absolute logical sense. Of course, Mr. Elliot’s best chance of keeping Sir Walter away from any designing woman, would be by marrying Elizabeth. That was one of the benefits he anticipated in marrying Anne. But you don’t take one thing into account: Mr. Elliot is a clever, discerning man, and a rich man, who has been indulging his tastes for years. He has always disliked Elizabeth, and seen her for exactly the narrow, annoying, stupid fool that she is. He ran away from the marriage to her that was dangled before him as a young man, and at his even more discerning time of life, he had even less desire to be married to somebody who would grate on his intelligence and taste every minute. Marriage to Elizabeth was not worth even the prospect of a baronetcy to him. Depend on it: he weighed the option. By taking Mrs. Clay as his mistress, he is not obligated to marry her, though I do wish Jane Austen had given us the clue as to whether “his cunning or hers” would prevail. Do you remember there was an excellent piece of early Austen fan fiction under that title, that was the JASNA AGM conference gift one year? I believe it has been published on the JASNA website, along with my own In Defense of Mrs. Elton. Did you see the eclipse in Ventura, Gracia Fay? Friendly, Diana W.

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