Persuasion 200: Sir Walter Departs for Bath — 30 Comments

  1. How meanly Anne is treated….as if she is of no consequence. Surprisingly, Mrs. Clay treats Anne better than her own family. Perhaps because Anne sees through her machinations and she is intelligent enough to realize this. I dislike Sir Walter and Anne even more. I enjoyed this chapter and felt mortified for the way Anne was treated.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Deborah. Jane Austen makes it so clear what an unfeeling, vain father and sister Sir Walter and Elizabeth are, and how appallingly they treat Anne. Mrs. Clay, of course, has ulterior motives, and isn’t about to rock the boat by offending anybody!

  3. Jane Austen really created too of the most self-centered and mean people ever. Anne should have moved in with Lady Russell when her mother died and left those two to themselves. I think Mrs. Clay is just being careful that she has a fall-back if things go badly with Elizabeth and Sir Walter. I really enjoyed this chapter. It amazes me how you all our putting this together so seamlessly.

    • Thanks, Maggie, glad you enjoyed it! Jane Austen certainly did create two almost incredibly selfish, shallow beings in Sir Walter and Elizabeth – there doesn’t seem to be a single ounce of kindness or compassion between them. Several of her villains are like that, and you wonder if she really did know anybody that totally lacking in good qualities! And yet, they are not one-dimensional. What a subtle master of characterization she was. As for the project being put together seamlessly – we are following a timeline, and the device works!

        • Well, not really a device – I just mean we are following the exact timeline of the events in Persuasion. Not rewriting scenes that Jane Austen did, but scenes as they might have happened just a little bit offstage. For example, Jane Austen says in a sentence or two that the four horses are to take Sir Walter, Elizabeth and Mrs. Clay to Bath, while Anne walks up to Kellynch. So I just expanded a little on her suggestion. But I can’t speak for everyone; other writers on this project take a different approach. Since we all do follow the sequence of events in order, however, they do seem to be blending together nicely, don’t they?

          • Ok. No device to calculate when events took place. The storyline gives the timeline. I like the expansion of the details not given (as you say offstage scenes). These scenes are making the story richer as you authors (cannot say ladies as Jack is also involved) write these scenes. And, yes they are blending together beautifully. Before you gave us the anticipation of writing these scenes I had never read Persuasion. I have now read it twice, listened to the audio version and am reading the annotated version as these scenes are being written. Thank you so much, all of you, for expanding my horizons and Diana, thank you so much for explaining how the writing is being handled. I am guessing each person is being assigned portions to write? Did you all collaborate to figure out where to add these scenes?

            • My goodness, Deborah, if our efforts inspired you to read Persuasion, that is wonderful and makes me so happy! You’ll find – well, I’m sure you have already found! – that Jane Austen is so very re-readable. Lots of people read through all her works every year, simply because on each reading they find something new, funny, or wonderful. Our expanding on situations she set up, shows how rich it is, how much there is to work with.

              I’m not sure how the “ringleaders” who coordinated this project made their timeline, exactly, but it looks to me like they sat down and wrote a list of the scenes in order, giving them working titles like “Sir Walter Goes to Bath.” That gives us a lot of leeway of what we choose to write. But no, we weren’t “assigned” anything! We were shown the list, and got to pick which scenes attracted us most. That way, people could write what they do best. Those who enjoy writing love scenes, naval scenes, dramatic scenes, could choose those. I like comedy, enjoy Jane Austen’s most grotesque characters, and have been writing about them since I won a contest in 1985 “doing” Mrs. Bates! Then I wrote a bunch of Mrs. Elton stories…and Lady Catherine…and it just keeps going. It’s huge fun and I’m not tired of it yet!

          • Thank you so much for answering my questions. I have wondered how this was done and your comment gave me the opening to ask the question. I have wondered how this was done since I read P & P 200 which I also found fit beautifully with P & P.

  4. Hilarious, Diana!! Thank you for this!! It gave me a laugh to start the day.

    Deborah — sorry, can’t answer your question as I’m not participating in Persuasion200 yet, but I know The Darcy Brothers required a lot of coordination.

    • Thank you Monica. A lot of coordination and teamwork as well. I thought The Darcy Brothers flowed seamlessly together. Sometimes, if not for the author’s name attached, I would’ve thought it was the same author as the previous week. 🙂

  5. “Do you not suppose my father knows that?” said Elizabeth with scorn. I think Elizabeth doesn’t even like to think let alone acknowledge that Anne is her sister! You have captured the arrogance of Elizabeth and Sir Walter so well and the subservience of Mrs. Clay (something like Mr. Collins but deviousness as well).

    • Thanks, Carole, good observation that Mrs. Clay has similarities to Mr. Collins – I hadn’t thought of that, but so true. And Collins has a streak of deviousness too, when he scuttles over to Charlotte “with admirable slyness.” I think, though, that Elizabeth saying “my father” instead of “our father” was just standard usage at that time, all the sons and daughters in Austen do that, Edmund talks of “my father” and Jane Bennet of “my mother.” That said, Elizabeth certainly has no value for her sister Anne at all!

    • Love that word “twit”….just the sound of it conveys so much….at least, to me….laughing here! Reminds me of the play on the word “schnapps” by Penny and Leonard in “The Big Bang Theory”. Of course, they were drunk as they kept repeating the word and giggling.

  6. Oh those to are horrid….just want to grab them and shake some sense into them…Mrs Clay shows more respect for Anne than her own family…though she is probably just covering her case her plans fall through..
    Now she heads to Mary, who while not so bad as the other two, still treats her more as a servant that a sister.
    Wish Anne’s happy ending was closer but she still have to live through Louisa.

  7. I’ll echo what everyone has said that you’d really gotten the perfect tone of shallow, condescending, and thoughtlessness that Sir Walter and Elizabeth both exhibit. If there was any doubt about Anne being different from there, that’s been erased! Anne has to be breathing a sigh of relief to be away from their constant and pointless exhibitions! But as someone else commented, now she has to endure her other sister!

  8. Thanks, Cathy! Anne is indeed unfortunate in her family. But don’t forget that Jane Austen tells us Anne felt that Mary was not so repulsive and unsisterly as Elizabeth, so that makes a difference!

  9. Persuasion has long been my favorite, much more so than P&P. I’m so glad to see Persuasion 200 come along. I’ve enjoyed the what ifs and variations that have been done with P&P, just wish there were more done with Persuasion…… and now you have! Jane Austen made it trult difficult to like some of her characters. I wonder were some people really that self centered, haughty, selfish and mean spirited in her time? You certainly have captured the essence of the Elliot’s in this chapter. I’m looking forward to reading “the rest of the story”.

    • Thanks, Linda – I didn’t think I’d enjoy this project as much as I did P&P200, because I thought Persuasion is less funny than P&P. However, it’s less frequently visited material, and so seems fresher. I’m enjoying it enormously!

  10. These last two chapters have so emphasized how despicable and heartless Sir Walter and Elizabeth truly are! So very hard to keep remembering that Anne is related to these two monsters. To be so good against their meanness! And how they don’t want to hear even a whisper of the true financial difficulty they got themselves into – the house in Bath, having to give up the horses, etc. Anne has to be so relieved that she will not hear their put downs daily or, even, hourly now that they have parted company. And she knows how to cajole Mary out of her moods so that is not as bad, especially as Mary’s moods and words are directed at Charles and his family for the most part. (Although she does get in a dig about Wentworth’s words that he would not have recognized Anne….) But the Musgroves do value Anne so that is comforting.

  11. I hate the way Sir Walter and Elizabeth treated Anne. I hope both get their comeuppance though I very much doubt that. Jane Austen is too kind towards their fate. Anyway I thought the Elliots have already secured an accommodation in Camden Place when they left Kellynch. I could be wrong so I need to re-read Persuasion.

    • Luthien, the Elliots go to Bath without having yet secured a house. Lady Russell is sure Anne will not be allowed to assist them, and Sir Walter and Elizabeth think that Mrs. Clay will be a great assistant in all the business before them (i.e., taking a house). Perhaps when they went to Bath, they went directly to an inn and did the house-hunting from there. The first mention of Camden Place is when Anne goes to Bath and finds them installed there.

      • Also don’t forget the Musgroves saying, “Also don’t forget the Musgroves asking, “”So, Miss Anne, Sir Walter and your sister are gone; and what part of Bath do you think they will settle in?”

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