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Persuasion 200: Which Will He Marry? — 25 Comments

  1. Mary as usual has no concept of anyone, least of all Anne, other than herself. It is interesting that she felt the need to defend herself about leaving little Charles. It would be nice if she truly realized that her “maternal feelings” are not of the nuturing type, but I guess that won’t happen. Upper class women of her time were not expected to care for children or to be involved with their day to day care. Shows that she is a true Elliot. Anne is a saint!. But sometimes I wish she would be a little more like Lizzy Bennett and speak up. That is the brillance of Austen, her characters; each different but each forces you to be aware of who they are and what their place is in the story. No extraneous people that you lose track of. Thanks Diana for this chapter!

    • You’re welcome, Maggie! That is why I so enjoy following these characters. They are so much themselves. Mary is a true Elliot in so many ways…who else would think of Captain Wentworth maybe being made a baronet? Only Sir Walter’s silly daughter.

  2. I want Captain Wentworth marry Anne Elliot, I like to read happy end story, they may have conflict, they just misunderstanding each other’s feeling, because of family disagree their love for each other, family sometime didn’t know better, they just follow cloud, you know what I mean, don’t you.

  3. “…knowing that if she was not his wife, she had only her own persuadable nature to blame” – yes, this sums up the dilemma nicely! And Mary and Charles remain true to character: Mary all wrapped up in herself and how things affect her, while Charles, at least, has an inkling that there is something “wrong” with Anne.

  4. I think that’s why Anne feels so badly…she knows it’s her own fault for not acting differently! Mary is the worst. Well, no, Elizabeth Elliot is worse! I get to write about her later, and I can’t wait!

  5. How awful for Anne to have to have listened to her sister and brother-in-law speculate on the good captain’s matrimonial prospects. She needs to go out for a walk so she can accidently run into him.

  6. Poor Anne. To hear it being debated as to who Wentworth will marry might just be worse than seeing him, because her opinion might be asked for. Annee remains behind so as not to see, but she must incessantly hear about it. At least, Charles notes she is pale and may be ill and is concerned. It shows he may have actually cared for her, since he did propose, and still has some attraction/feeling for her. And. Sheila L.M., your quote is perfect. As in Anne’s case, hindsight is always 20/20. And as for Mary, Maggie summed her up perfectly, “she is a true Elliott”.

    Thank you for a beautifully poignant chapter, Diana.

    • Thank you, Deborah. Jane Austen describes the situation exactly, of course; Anne is forced to listen to Charles and Mary discuss Wentworth and the Musgrove sisters in the book. So all I did was expand on that a little. You can’t help but feel really sorry for Anne in that situation, can you? (The line Sheila was quoting, though, was, er, MINE! 🙂

  7. Not only is Anne torturing herself but having to listen to Mary and Charles argue over who is to marry Captain Wentworth is double torture! I know I can barely talk when I get headache but at least I can take something for it. How did they handle true headaches back then?

    • Carole, that’s a good thing to research. Looking at Wikipedia, I see that willow bark (component of aspirin) was known in Jane Austen’s day. And they might have swigged laudanum, for really bad headaches like migraines!

  8. Poor Anne. Scenes like this activate the Anne Elliot Fantasy Sequence in my imagination, wherein Anne finally loses her temper and begins beating people with an embroidery hoop or something. To listen to Charles and Mary bicker back and forth while you have a headache would be bad enough without their particular choice of topic.

    • Tee hee, Monica, you know Anne can never lose her temper – that’s why Jane Austen called her “a heroine who is almost too good for me”! Certainly Jane Austen was fiendish herself, to force poor Anne to listen to that particular speculation by Charles and Mary.

  9. So sad! (But so well written!) I think Anne was being doubly tortured – it was bad enough to hear that Capt. Wentworth was wooing other women, but the type of description that only Mary and Charles were capable of, makes it worse! Mary and Charles were focused on how pretty or lively the Musgrove ladies are, and how Capt. Wentwort’s attention was evidenced by his serving them certain dishes — urgh! Obviously we couldn’t expect more meaningful reflections from Mary or Charles.

    I also thought Anne must feel especially deserted by Frederick, and by everyone, when it seems that now he not only is paying attention to other women, but has interactions with them that seem so trivial compared to what she shared with him. So now I REALLY want to know how he manages to explain himself — maybe a bump on the head? Some kind of temporary personality defect??

    • Now that you mention it, Kathy, I’ve never been quite satisfied on that point! When Wentworth says in the end that to his eyes Anne could never change, she remembers how when he first saw her he said she was changed beyond recognition. She excuses it because he loves her now, but I don’t know how happy I’d be with that! However, one thing is clear, in giving Anne all these difficulties, mortifications, and pain, Jane Austen does prepare the way for one of the most romantic endings ever.

  10. Oh, what torture poor Anne suffered! Mary is truly a silly goose, almost as bad as her father and Elizabeth but with fewer debts.

    I hope you really lambast Elizabeth in your next turn. These Elliot girls deserve nothing less!

  11. Well both Mary and Charles has no idea that their argument is causing Anne to be more ill and uncomfortable by the minute. Why they do not cease their talk and focus on something else is beyond understanding.

    Thanks for giving us a brilliant continuation to the story, Diana.

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