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Persuasion 200: Impromptu Ball at Uppercross – Jane Odiwe — 28 Comments

  1. Yes, Jane, I enjoy the reading, I like Anne can smooth the hold cloud of people, young and old, even the man were like her very much, what is name of Anne’s lover, is he there too, I will like to read, what is their feel about each other, did they jealous other people’s happiness.

    • Thank you, Linda-Captain Wentworth isn’t there yet, but that would be an interesting episode to write with both their points of view!

  2. There was almost a dreamlike quality to this chapter. It was so lovely, and so sad at the same time. Anne is a wraith haunting her own life because of the actions of those surrounding her. Even those who like her very much have placed so many expectations on her. She is expected to wander through life doing all the heavy lifting for everyone else, while they enjoy the life they are denying her. What a burden it must be to be a peacemaker! Mary is so prickly and haughty, just like her sister, Elizabeth, and Sir Walter. Mary is like an oyster; she is forever irritating her life and everyone else’s, to show what a pearl she is. She has very little self respect, and entirely too much pride and arrogance. She has never learned to think of anyone but her self. At the same time she has never learned to respect and value herself, so she fancies herself ill to get the attention and affection she is starving for. Anne, who deserves everyone’s respect, gets it, but at a terrible cost. She is poked and prodded to handle everything unpleasant, but is never cherished for the intelligent, diplomatic and loving woman that she is. She is the means for everyone else to have peace and quiet, but has little of her own. Of everyone gathered at the Musgrove’s home, only Charles Hayter appreciates her for who and what she is. Everyone else, as usual, is using her. The Musgroves want her to take care of Mary and give them peace and quiet, the younger Musgroves want her to play music so they can dance. Despite that, they are a pleasant loving family. The young sisters are merely guilty of being young and selfish, not of any actual malice, while Mary is actually maliciously in the way she uses imaginary illness to shape and control her environment, and the people in it. Everyone is weak in some way, except for Anne. She is the strong one, but oddly no one seems to see her that way. If they think of her, it is only as poor Anne, or Anne who exists to serve their whims and caprices Your Anne is one I like very much. She has character and a resilience that I had never realized before, or appreciated. Thank you for making me see the Anne that I didn’t see before. She is a strong woman with a great deal of character, and an amazing capacity for love. She proves that every day of her life. I am looking forward to the happy ever after! You are doing an amazing job with the characters, as always. I am seeing them through new eyes, and seeing things that I didn’t see before. You have convinced me to see Anne as she really is, and to appreciate her. For years I was as guilty as her family in not valuing her as I should have. Besides being a gifted author, you have a gift for making us see people as they really are, instead of who we thought, or assumed them to be. You would have made an amazing and terrifying psychologist or detective! You balance Sherlock Holmes, Sigmund Feud, Jane Austen and magically give us Jane Odiwe. I don’t know how you do it, but however you do it, don’t stop.

    • She is the strong one, but oddly no one seems to see her that way.

      That sentence sums up Anne so well, Mari! Yes, they are all quite selfish, aren’t they, but as you say, it’s not malicious just a lot of thoughtlessness and people putting their own needs first.
      Thank you so much for taking the trouble to write your thoughts and for your very kind words!

  3. Jane, what an absolutely wonderful chapter! Anne’s recollections of Wentworth were so clear. I always knew why she wouldn’t dance with another, but here you showed its. tenacity so clearly and vividly. Of course, she would notice the looks between Charles Hatter and Henrietta, with insight and fondness, but momentarily, melancholy but fond memories. And Louisa, there is jealousy. She wants someone to pay attention to her, after all she is older and feels she should be married first. And then there’s Mary. She is so self-centered (The Elliott Pride) she can’t even share her husband with his sister and then can’t even finish the dance.

    What a beautiful piece with such emotion. Looking forward to reading about when Wentworth is there. Thank you for a wonderful post to begin my Saturday.

    • Thank you, Deborah-it’s very sad to think of Anne giving up on her dancing, isn’t it? I really enjoyed thinking about all of their behaviour and how they would react to the different situations – thank you so much for your thoughts and your kind words!

  4. Excellent look at the Musgrove and Hayter families together. Sweet Anne, to be peacemaker and diplomat. I still wonder what Charles Musgrove was thinking when he settled for Mary – what went through his mind when Anne refused him and he went for the next sister.

    Thank yuo for the lovely dance!

    • Thank you, June-I’m glad you enjoyed it! I always imagine that Charles knew he didn’t really have a chance with Anne, but at least if he married her sister he would still get to see her and spend time with her.

  5. Lovely, Jane – sweet and bittersweet mixed together. Anne is very observant of the interaction between the Musgrove sisters. That competition will be most interesting when a certain Captain comes on the scene!

  6. Beautifully written as always, Jane. Your descriptive writing paints a vivid scene of the swirl of the dance (the guttering candles being my favourite bit of that!), and Anne’s melancholy is perfectly shown. How bittersweet indeed for her.

    It was also lovely to get some background on Charles Hayter’s attraction to Henrietta, and I liked how you showed Louisa’s character too in her reactions. As for Mary… big sigh…

    A lovely read!

  7. Thank you, Cassandra-I love indulging in a bit of descriptive writing. I can never resist writing Mary-she’s such a great character, even if she’s a pain in the neck!

  8. I agree with Monica’s comments as to this being melancholy and bittersweet. And I agree with so many who point out how no one really sees Anne’s worth but use her as a tool to get what they what; be it a change in Mary’s behavior or a chance to dance.

    Louisa is interesting, in that we can see how she desires a beau of her own here but we who know this story also know how she pushes Henrietta to visit Aunt Hayter’s house during their long walk with Capt. Wentworth and Charles. So she thinks she has a beau in the captain and thus can further Henrietta’s attachment.

    Sad thoughts of how Anne, at this point, feels life has passed her by and so has to be content to be of service to others as she is not one to sit in the corner and pine openly. Later, in private or in her bedtime thoughts she can have all those “what if” and “only if” thoughts.

    Oh, how I am longing for happier times for her! Thank you for this enlightening episode.

  9. Thank you, Sheila! Yes, I think Louisa wants to be in love, and probably doesn’t mind -it could be any young man that happens along ; ) know just what you mean about happier times – perhaps we should have a few more flashbacks with Captain Wentworth!

  10. Yes, I loved this story very much. Dancing, music and courtship intersperse with Anne’s past courtship with Frederick are the very things I enjoyed reading. When a certain someone shows up, things will certainly be a lot more interesting.

  11. I enjoyed this chapter very much. Although the Musgrove sisters are competing with each other for Charles Hayter’s attentions, I am finding it is not quite as vicious or sniping as it might have been with Elizabeth Elliot involved somehow. Still although Anne is not the heroine in the Musgrove family, she is accepted and valued. It is sad that she is just willing to play piano for everyone’s enjoyment, but the Musgroves don’t seem to take her for granted as her own family does. (I also was thinking of my own indifferent piano instruction, I could never play music for anyone to dance to!)

    I was struck by the fact that there are 2 characters named Charles – where it’s easy to get them mixed up! Isn’t that unusual in novels?

  12. Thank you, Kathy! I’ve often thought if Jane had had more time to edit she might have changed their names. I would never have two men with the same name in a novel, unless it was a plot device-I don’t think she’d finished with it properly before she died, and Henry published it after her death. Very sad when you think about it.

  13. Eight long years but Anne still remembers so vividly her one true love…yes, bittersweet and sad are the appropriate words to describe her reflections. Having to internalize her pain and not be ‘bitter’ with the world shows a true strength of character. Beautifully written Jane.

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