Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Winter's Persuasion - Chapter Thirteen

I have popcorn and am watching the Golden Globes pre-show at present, but that is truly not why you're getting a really short post today for A Winter's Persuasion. It's because there's not much happening in Chapter Thirteen.

I think it's a purposeful decision on Austen's part - after such a traumatic event as what happened in yesterday's installment, I'm pretty certain she was giving everyone time to catch their breaths.

The Musgroves are all off to Lyme, where they will take care of the Harville children while Mrs. Harville takes care of Louisa, and Anne has moved from Uppercross to Kellynch Lodge, the home of Lady Russell, who is so out of touch with Anne's actual thoughts that she gets most everything wrong: She assumes that Anne is concerned about her father and sister in Bath and is uncomfortable about the Crofts being at Kellynch Hall. Instead, we learn (but Lady Russell does not) that Anne could give a flying fig about her father and Elizabeth, and is far more concerned with the Musgroves; instead of being concerned about their living quarters in Bath, she is thinking about the lovely people she met in Lyme; instead of resenting the Crofts or being upset by them, she adores them - and thinks that they take better care of Kellynch than her father did.

I did want to mention Admiral Croft's comment about the laundry door. The laundry would not have been a room off the kitchen, as in today's homes, but was quite likely an outbuilding used only by servants. That Admiral Croft saw fit to repair or replace it, commenting, "The wonder was, how any family upon earth could bear with the inconvenience of its opening as it did, so long!", what we learn is two-fold: that the Admiral is a thoughtful and practical man who thinks of others, and (we are reminded) Sir Walter Elliot is not - he is supremely uncaring of whether things are easy for his servants or not - if it's not inconvenient to him personally, it's unimportant.

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