Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 200752 times)

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Two Ravens

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1800 on: March 10, 2014, 03:40:13 PM »
Has anyone seen Death Comes to Pemberly? I rather like what ive seen of it in terms of what's happened except Elizabeth and Darcy have only one child in the five year gap and the Elizabeth looks far too old. She looks at least 30 but she should be 22 at the oldest.

Five years after they marry?  Then she'd be closer to 26 and at least 25.  She's twenty at Hunsford, when she tells Lady Catherine that she is not yet one-and-twenty.
I didn't want the TV adaptation - I read the book, as I like PD James and love P&P, but the book was  so awful, it left me with no wish to see the TV at all. I think they were supposed to have been married 6 years, so Elizabeth would have been 25 or 26.
Re: Charlotte Lucas - I always think of Miss Bates, in 'Emma', and Mr Knightly's rebuke to Emma about making fun of her. I imagine Charlotte Lucas would have ended up similarly poor and struggling (although not as silly) had she not married. And presumably Mary Bennet has a similar fate in store, although with 2 wealthy brothers in law she would probably be more secure financially!

Jane Austen later said that Mary married one of her Uncle Phillips' clerks, but she was content to be a pillar of Meryton society.

I find it interesting that people are always ready to explain away Charlotte's decision to marry Mr. Collins as good sense, but are reluctant to condemn Elizabeth for refusing him. After all, Elizabeth was quite likely ensuring that not only she, but her 4 sisters and mother ended up in a poorhouse by refusing him!

Margo

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1801 on: March 10, 2014, 03:42:02 PM »
Ah, but we all know she's going to get Mr Darcy in the end, so it doesn't matter!

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1802 on: March 10, 2014, 03:42:47 PM »
I disliked Death Comes to Pemberly, because it was so dreary.  P&P was one of the most 'sparkling' books I have ever read, just a joy to read and savor the sentences.  PD James's book was a chore.
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Two Ravens

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1803 on: March 10, 2014, 03:43:47 PM »
Ah, but we all know she's going to get Mr Darcy in the end, so it doesn't matter!

In the end, yes, but at the time, it was an incredibly selfish decision.

Margo

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1804 on: March 10, 2014, 03:44:46 PM »
Ah, but we all know she's going to get Mr Darcy in the end, so it doesn't matter!

In the end, yes, but at the time, it was an incredibly selfish decision.
(more seriously, you're quite right. I suppose that it could be argued that at the time she turned him down, she thought Jane was going to marry Bingley. And she was 19 or 20, not 27, so perhaps with more hope of other opportunities)

Two Ravens

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1805 on: March 10, 2014, 03:59:25 PM »
Ah, but we all know she's going to get Mr Darcy in the end, so it doesn't matter!

In the end, yes, but at the time, it was an incredibly selfish decision.
(more seriously, you're quite right. I suppose that it could be argued that at the time she turned him down, she thought Jane was going to marry Bingley. And she was 19 or 20, not 27, so perhaps with more hope of other opportunities)

That's very true. I guess it serves to underscore the difference between 20 and 27 in those times as well. Charlotte is certainly in a different position than Anne Elliot of Persuasion, despite both being single and the same age.

Firecat

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1806 on: March 10, 2014, 04:19:20 PM »
Ah, but we all know she's going to get Mr Darcy in the end, so it doesn't matter!

In the end, yes, but at the time, it was an incredibly selfish decision.
(more seriously, you're quite right. I suppose that it could be argued that at the time she turned him down, she thought Jane was going to marry Bingley. And she was 19 or 20, not 27, so perhaps with more hope of other opportunities)

I think it's also partly the author's way of illustrating the differences in personality and outlook between Elizabeth and Charlotte.

Remember that Elizabeth lived every day with two people who probably never should have been married to each other and who brought out some of the worst in each other (her parents). Neither was really an awful person; Mrs. Bennett was shallow and silly, and Mr. Bennett was smart enough to perceive that, but petty enough to show his lack of respect for her, even in front of their daughters.

So Elizabeth and Jane were determined to marry for love, because they'd seen what things were like otherwise. Charlotte, as she herself put it, wasn't "romantic," and had what was, for the time, a more "conventional" view of marriage. Charlotte seems to have managed to shape her situation enough to be reasonably content.

Plus, she also knew that her uncle wouldn't allow her mother and sisters to starve. Ok, they probably wouldn't be living well, but they wouldn't be starving.

Two Ravens

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1807 on: March 10, 2014, 04:28:10 PM »
Ah, but we all know she's going to get Mr Darcy in the end, so it doesn't matter!

In the end, yes, but at the time, it was an incredibly selfish decision.
(more seriously, you're quite right. I suppose that it could be argued that at the time she turned him down, she thought Jane was going to marry Bingley. And she was 19 or 20, not 27, so perhaps with more hope of other opportunities)

I think it's also partly the author's way of illustrating the differences in personality and outlook between Elizabeth and Charlotte.

Remember that Elizabeth lived every day with two people who probably never should have been married to each other and who brought out some of the worst in each other (her parents). Neither was really an awful person; Mrs. Bennett was shallow and silly, and Mr. Bennett was smart enough to perceive that, but petty enough to show his lack of respect for her, even in front of their daughters.

So Elizabeth and Jane were determined to marry for love, because they'd seen what things were like otherwise. Charlotte, as she herself put it, wasn't "romantic," and had what was, for the time, a more "conventional" view of marriage. Charlotte seems to have managed to shape her situation enough to be reasonably content.

Plus, she also knew that her uncle wouldn't allow her mother and sisters to starve. Ok, they probably wouldn't be living well, but they wouldn't be starving.

I suppose you're right in that Elizabeth could foresee a marriage just like her parents and determined anything was better than that. But consider, her uncle was in trade and had at least 4 children of his own to provide for. One bad turn and they could have all been living in poverty. I don't mean to be argumentative, but it was rather a precarious situation for all of them.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 04:45:46 PM by Two Ravens »

Firecat

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1808 on: March 10, 2014, 04:40:05 PM »
Ah, but we all know she's going to get Mr Darcy in the end, so it doesn't matter!

In the end, yes, but at the time, it was an incredibly selfish decision.
(more seriously, you're quite right. I suppose that it could be argued that at the time she turned him down, she thought Jane was going to marry Bingley. And she was 19 or 20, not 27, so perhaps with more hope of other opportunities)

I think it's also partly the author's way of illustrating the differences in personality and outlook between Elizabeth and Charlotte.

Remember that Elizabeth lived every day with two people who probably never should have been married to each other and who brought out some of the worst in each other (her parents). Neither was really an awful person; Mrs. Bennett was shallow and silly, and Mr. Bennett was smart enough to perceive that, but petty enough to show his lack of respect for her, even in front of their daughters.

So Elizabeth and Jane were determined to marry for love, because they'd seen what things were like otherwise. Charlotte, as she herself put it, wasn't "romantic," and had what was, for the time, a more "conventional" view of marriage. Charlotte seems to have managed to shape her situation enough to be reasonably content.

Plus, she also knew that her uncle wouldn't allow her mother and sisters to starve. Ok, they probably wouldn't be living well, but they wouldn't be starving.

I suppose you're right in that Elizabeth could firsee a marriage just like her parents and determined anything was better than that. But consider, her uncle was in trade and had at least 4 children of his own to provide for. One bad turn and they could have all been living in poverty. I don't mean to be argumentative, but it was rather a precarious situation for all of them.

There was also her other uncle (the lawyer) and his wife; they'd probably have helped out, too, and I don't think they had as many (maybe not any) children. Not an ideal situation, for sure...but I don't think I could have brought myself to marry Mr. Collins, either, to be honest!

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1809 on: March 10, 2014, 04:43:48 PM »
I've met people who didn't understand how selfish Lydia was in what she did with Wickham, though Mr Bennet does rightly claim some of the blame himself when Elizabeth warned him Lydia needed a talking to about men.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1810 on: March 10, 2014, 05:35:12 PM »
I agree that part of the big difference between Elizabeth's situation and Charlotte's was age, 20 versus 27.  Also, there's Elizabeth's beauty and Charlotte's lack thereof.  Charlotte is repeatedly described as being "very plain," and Elizabeth is described as being pretty, a "famous local beauty," and even a grumpy Darcy admits from the start that she is "tolerable" (even if she's not quite handsome enough to tempt him to dance, something he hates).  Elizabeth also had another potential suitor (Mr. Wickham), who she seriously contemplated despite his lack of fortune.

Jane Austen gives good examples of all the many unhappy fates a woman can face through marriage.  Fanny's mother, in Mansfield Park, married a poor man out of love, and ends up living a desperate existence, so much so that she sends one of her most promising daughters to live with relatives out of hope that she might better herself.  Mr./Mrs. Bennet make a poor choice in marriage and both become worse through their association with each other and are miserable in their marriage, if for the most part well-off enough in money.  And Miss Bates shows us the fate of a woman who never marries and who sinks lower into poverty every year.  Of course, Elinor and Edward Ferrars marry for love, knowing that his prospects are moderate at most, and they are able to make a happy marriage out of it.  So perhaps some of it depends on the character of the people (I believe Fanny's father drank) and also exactly *how* bad their situation was.

I once read a book that was about Catherine of Aragon, in the years from when she first met Prince Arthur through her marriage to King Henry VIII.  During the period after Arthur's death, when it was undetermined whether she had truly been "married" to Arthur (and thus whether Henry could marry her or not), she was living in genteel poverty.  I'm not sure how accurate the book was, but it showed the interesting quandary of being desperately poor and hungry, and yet unable to get a job or do anything to bring money into the household because it was work, and you weren't allowed to do it.  Catherine and her ladies in waiting basically survive by selling off bits of the house they're living in, and they're constantly cold and hungry.  Genteel poverty may sound sort of ridiculous in a "okay, seriously, get a job!" way, but social rules were stricter in those days and it simply wasn't permitted to just "go out and get a job."

lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1811 on: March 10, 2014, 08:55:45 PM »
Ah, but we all know she's going to get Mr Darcy in the end, so it doesn't matter!

In the end, yes, but at the time, it was an incredibly selfish decision.
(more seriously, you're quite right. I suppose that it could be argued that at the time she turned him down, she thought Jane was going to marry Bingley. And she was 19 or 20, not 27, so perhaps with more hope of other opportunities)

I think it's also partly the author's way of illustrating the differences in personality and outlook between Elizabeth and Charlotte.

Remember that Elizabeth lived every day with two people who probably never should have been married to each other and who brought out some of the worst in each other (her parents). Neither was really an awful person; Mrs. Bennett was shallow and silly, and Mr. Bennett was smart enough to perceive that, but petty enough to show his lack of respect for her, even in front of their daughters.

So Elizabeth and Jane were determined to marry for love, because they'd seen what things were like otherwise. Charlotte, as she herself put it, wasn't "romantic," and had what was, for the time, a more "conventional" view of marriage. Charlotte seems to have managed to shape her situation enough to be reasonably content.

Plus, she also knew that her uncle wouldn't allow her mother and sisters to starve. Ok, they probably wouldn't be living well, but they wouldn't be starving.

It is also a matter of character. Elizabeth was much too impetuous and outspoken to be happy with Mr Collin. She would have driven him crazy and vice versa. She would feel he was beneath her and, quite honestly, would be quite happy to let him know it. Jane would feel she married beneath herself but would be gracious. Charlotte, however, felt an equal in her marriage, recognized her role in it (and it is not a simple or easy thing to be) and was happy to be a partner.

If we look at them coldly, all three gentlemen had some serious flaws: Mr Collin was silly and a sycophant (but this allows him to get a comfortable living), Mr Darcy is a social disaster and feels himself to be quite superior to everyone (he doesn't feel the least inclined to do the bare minimum required at a dance and was bad mouthing everyone there), Mr Bingley had no backbone whatsoever,

kglory

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1812 on: March 10, 2014, 11:23:49 PM »
I agree that part of the big difference between Elizabeth's situation and Charlotte's was age, 20 versus 27.  Also, there's Elizabeth's beauty and Charlotte's lack thereof. 

Agree completely with the above.  Also, when Elizabeth turned down Mr. Collins, she didn't think he'd go running straight to Charlotte!  No one did.  If anything, she might have thought Mr. Collins would turn to Mary, who was next in line due to Mr. Collins' criteria of choosing his fiance solely due to birth order -- and Mary would have accepted him.

Ah, but we all know she's going to get Mr Darcy in the end, so it doesn't matter!

In the end, yes, but at the time, it was an incredibly selfish decision.
(more seriously, you're quite right. I suppose that it could be argued that at the time she turned him down, she thought Jane was going to marry Bingley. And she was 19 or 20, not 27, so perhaps with more hope of other opportunities)

That's very true. I guess it serves to underscore the difference between 20 and 27 in those times as well. Charlotte is certainly in a different position than Anne Elliot of Persuasion, despite both being single and the same age.

Re: Anne Elliot -- I would argue that Charlotte IS in the same position as Anne Elliot at the start of the book.  Maybe even a better position, as Charlotte's father is not a completely vain, spendthrift idiot who treats her as worthless. 

Just as Lizzy and Charlotte are in different situations due to their ages, Anne's prospects at 19 were very different from her prospects at 27.  At 19, she was persuaded to break an engagement to an honorable but poor man, to hold out for better.  At 27, her looks were faded, her family fortune was gone, and the undercurrent to the book was that by this point, she'd be lucky to end up married to anyone at all.

I once read a book that was about Catherine of Aragon, in the years from when she first met Prince Arthur through her marriage to King Henry VIII.  During the period after Arthur's death, when it was undetermined whether she had truly been "married" to Arthur (and thus whether Henry could marry her or not), she was living in genteel poverty.  I'm not sure how accurate the book was, but it showed the interesting quandary of being desperately poor and hungry, and yet unable to get a job or do anything to bring money into the household because it was work, and you weren't allowed to do it.  Catherine and her ladies in waiting basically survive by selling off bits of the house they're living in, and they're constantly cold and hungry.  Genteel poverty may sound sort of ridiculous in a "okay, seriously, get a job!" way, but social rules were stricter in those days and it simply wasn't permitted to just "go out and get a job."

Yes - that is 100% true to history!    She had to sell her jewels and gold plates to have money to survive and thus had no dowry left when she ended up able to marry Henry.

Catherine's situation was worse, in that (unlike the Austen characters), she wasn't just trying to marry a gentleman or live a reasonably comfortable existence -- she was trying to be Queen of England.  And it ended up taking 7 years between the death of Arthur and finally marrying Henry, a long time period to be living on little more than prayer and charity.

(edited to fix a quote)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 11:26:40 PM by kglory »

lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1813 on: March 10, 2014, 11:50:37 PM »
Anne has an advantage over Charlotte: her mother's friend, Lady Russel. Lady Russel would happily take Anne in and, most likely, provide for her in her will. Lady Russel probably has the right to will her own marriage portion and she has no children.

kglory

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1814 on: March 11, 2014, 04:08:52 AM »
Anne has an advantage over Charlotte: her mother's friend, Lady Russel. Lady Russel would happily take Anne in and, most likely, provide for her in her will. Lady Russel probably has the right to will her own marriage portion and she has no children.

This is true.  Unless Lady Russel dies first, and her property passes to a male nephew rather than to Anne.

It just goes to show how precarious all of their positions are.

Even Anne's friend, the widow (Mrs. Smith?) did everything right -- went to private school, married a rich upper-class man, lived in high society.  Except her husband squandered all his money and died, and now she lives in ill health and poverty.

Everything was so tenuous in those days, and the sad thing was how few options people had to change their circumstances.  They couldn't just go get a 2nd job, move and buy land elsewhere, or any of the normal options today.