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formergothardite

Jane Austen Reading Club

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DancingPhalanges

That makes sense! The situations among the female characters are so different. 

Im in chapter 7 and having some trouble with this:

"In showing kindness to his cousins therefore he had the real satisfaction of a good heart; and in settling a family of females only in his cottage, he had all the satisfaction of a sportsman; for a sportsman, though he esteems only those of his sex who are sportsmen likewise, is not often desirous of encouraging their taste by admitting them to a residence within his own manor."

Is it saying that he did care and had a good heart as far as he could gather up for female relatives, and the cottage was good enough for them to live in but not his home? 

I like that Sir John seems to care but he also seems to be a people collector with constant parties year round. 

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CTRLZero
21 minutes ago, DancingPhalanges said:

In showing kindness to his cousins therefore he had the real satisfaction of a good heart; and in settling a family of females only in his cottage, he had all the satisfaction of a sportsman; for a sportsman, though he esteems only those of his sex who are sportsmen likewise, is not often desirous of encouraging their taste by admitting them to a residence within his own manor.

This was the exact paragraph that I ended on last night, so maybe I was stumped as well.  It might have to do with Sir John not wanting to have the competition of other sportsmen living on his manor (i.e., he wants to be the alpha male).  I think the phrase "admitting them [other sportsmen] to a residence within his own manor" means letting them live on his estate (not necessarily in his personal house).   Just a guess (sometimes the language is hard to parse).

In chapter 7, I love how Austen introduces a few new characters by playing off their differences:

Quote

Colonel Brandon, the friend of Sir John, seemed no more adapted by resemblance of manner to be his friend, than Lady Middleton was to be his wife, or Mrs. Jennings to be Lady Middleton's mother.

Colonel Brandon - "silent and grave"

Sir John - "friendliness" "boisterous mirth"

Lady Middleton - "cold insipidity"

Mrs. Jennings (Lady Middleton's mother) - "good-humoured...talked a great deal...rather vulgar...full of jokes and laughter"

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DancingPhalanges
Posted (edited)

Yes! I love how different the characters are, especially Lady Middleton's mother. I aspire to be her! I re-read those two paragraphs because it brought up such a visual. I did like Lady Middleton a little better when I read that she came to life around her children.

"Lady Middleton seemed to be roused to enjoyment only by the entrance of her four noisy children after dinner, who pulled her about, tore her clothes, and put an end to every kind of discourse except what related to themselves."

I can picture Jane Austen basing the characters on people she knew, I would love to go back in time and interview her. 

Edited by DancingPhalanges
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DancingPhalanges

Which thread was it where being 35 was old? This quote cracked me up remembering the responses in that thread. Duggar thread maybe? i can't remember because I'm old according to Marianne!

"His pleasure in music, though it amounted not to that ecstatic delight which alone could sympathize with her own, was estimable when contrasted against the horrible insensibility of the others; and she was reasonable enough to allow that a man of five and thirty might well have outlived all acuteness of feeling and every exquisite power of enjoyment. She was perfectly disposed to make every allowance for the colonel's advanced state of life which humanity required."

:pb_biggrin:

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CTRLZero

That is a funny quote about a 35-year-old having outlived all modes of enjoyment!  Margaret and Marianne's first thought was that he was "an absolute old bachelor, for he was on the wrong side of five and thirty."  My daughter's about his age.  Sigh...

I'll just hang out on the sidelines and be vulgar with the elderly Mrs. Jennings.

:character-oldtimer:

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Waffle Time
formergothardite

I'm still at the point where they are moving to the cottage and I'm amused that Mrs. Dashwod is planning all these elaborate remodels and truly seems to think she will have the money for it. This line gave me a chuckle. 

Quote

In the mean time, till all these alterations could be made from the savings of an income of five hundred a-year by a woman who never saved in her life, they were wise enough to be contented with the house as it was;

 

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CTRLZero
26 minutes ago, formergothardite said:

truly seems to think she will have the money for it

I was actually shocked when Mrs. Dashwood thought "in the spring, if I have plenty of money, as I dare say I shall, we may think about building." (ch. 6)  I wish I knew more about the cost of living in that time frame, but as Austen points out she has 500 per year, it must be a sign they will have no money to lay aside for home alterations whatsoever, and contemporary readers would understand that.   This must be the first time Mrs. Dashwood has had charge of (or even exposure to) household finances. 

When my father-in-law died ten years ago, my mother-in-law had not seen the check register in probably 30 years.  He took strict control of the household finances, so it was quite the learning curve when she had to pay bills, balance accounts, etc.  So, I somewhat understand what Mrs. Dashwood is going through (all while grieving). 

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DancingPhalanges

Right! She's dreaming of adding rooms to a rental with money she doesn't have. It was hard moving from Norland to a cottage so I guess she's coping this way. 

@CTRLZero when my fil died mil also had quite the learning curve. It was a hard time trying to process everything while grieving. 

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CTRLZero

"Mrs. Jennings...had now therefore nothing to do but to marry all the rest of the world." (ch. 8) - I feel secondhand embarrassment for all the young people subjected to the "insinuations" of Mrs. Jennings.  She formed the opinion early that Colonel Brandon and Marianne would be the perfect match, to the irritation of both parties.

So, then we get to Marianne's opinion that Brandon is in his "advanced years" and "forlorn condition as an old bachelor."  She really emphasizes the age difference:  "old enough to be MY father" and had "long outlived every sensation of the kind."

"When is a man to be safe from such wit, if age and infirmity will not protect him?"  (OK, I laughed so hard at this notion!)

And then we get into the idea a woman of 27 "can never hope to feel or inspire affection again...To me [Marianne] it would seem only a commercial exchange..."  What!?!

This novel was published in 1811, when Austen was ancient (like Colonel Brandon age), but I wonder what age she actually wrote this?  I wonder if she was around 27.  I could see Austen poking fun at her situation in life, as an elderly twenty-something.

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DancingPhalanges

@CTRLZero I just checked the study notes in my copy and it says she started the first draft in 1795 and it was titled, Elinor and Marianne. 

I mean, Marianne was half Brandon's age and didn't sweep her directly off her feet the way she wanted. I guess brooding and mysterious AND ancient wasn't her thing!

I love Mrs. Jennings shenanigans, she's awesome. 

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CTRLZero
26 minutes ago, DancingPhalanges said:

I just checked the study notes in my copy and it says she started the first draft in 1795 and it was titled, Elinor and Marianne. 

That's amazing that she was only about 20 when she started drafting the novel.  She had such mature snark going on, I thought she must have been older.  Thanks! 

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CTRLZero

In chapter 9, Sir John is already marrying Marianne off to Willoughby, much like Mrs. Jennings was pairing her off with Brandon just a few weeks earlier:

Quote

Aye, aye, I see how it will be," said Sir John, "I see how it will be.  You will be setting your cap at him now, and never think of poor Brandon."

My novel has a very charming illustration of Marianne gathered up in Willoughby's arms, with a dog looking concernedly at the couple. 

I love how Austen describes Willoughby's hasty departure "to make himself more interesting."  It really feeds into Marianne's need for romance.

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Waffle Time
formergothardite

Back in chapter 6 Austen writes this and is it not so true! There is nothing like a child to make awkward conversations with virtual strangers go a bit better. 

Quote

 Lady Middleton had taken the wise precaution of bringing with her their eldest child, a fine little boy about six years old, by which means there was one subject always to be recurred to by the ladies in case of extremity, for they had to enquire his name and age, admire his beauty, and ask him questions which his mother answered for him, while he hung about her and held down his head, to the great surprise of her ladyship, who wondered at his being so shy before company, as he could make noise enough at home. On every formal visit a child ought to be of the party, by way of provision for discourse. In the present case it took up ten minutes to determine whether the boy were most like his father or mother, and in what particular he resembled either, for of course every body differed, and every body was astonished at the opinion of the others.

 

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CTRLZero

Just musing:  I wonder if Lady Middleton is really not "insipid," but has maybe a shy streak and has turned inward because her mother has such a dominant personality.  My own mother had rather, hmmm, unfortunate habits that caused me and others embarrassment because of ill-timed and personal comments.  I have always been shy and, when humiliated, chose to retreat rather than fight.  So, it might be Lady Middleton's joy and refuge to focus on her children (and her dinner party arrangements).

I also wonder if Lady Middleton was married to Sir John due to her mother's matchmaking (likely!).  I could see Mrs. Jennings thinking someone with a boisterous and outgoing nature such as Sir John's being just the thing to draw Lady MIddleton out of her shell.

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