Welcome to the Jane Started It! portion of AUSTEN IN AUGUST. I want to thank MISTY, mistress of THE BOOK RAT blog, for hosting this wonderful, last chance, all-out, Austencentric book read of the summer. I am particularly happy with her choice of Austen novels, PERSUASION. To say it is my favorite novel would be an understatement. I have grown to love Anne Elliot over the years, and I am a bona fide FREDERICK FANGIRL. (There are some who like the designation, Wentworth Wench, but I’m not fond of that.) Anyway, I’m happy to talk Persuasion with anyone who will stand still.
Misty gave us some great questions to start with. My compatriots, LAURA HILE and ROBIN HELM will be posting answers here as well. Check back everyday to join the conversation.
As I said, Misty gave us some great questions but also gave us permission to ask our own. I thought this was a perfect chance to ask a question I’ve had for-practically-ever concerning Mary and Charles Musgrove.
Do you think Mary knews that Charles once asked Anne to marry him, and was refused?
On one hand, how could Mary not have known? Louisa knew. She cheerfully informed Frederick as they gathered and ate hazelnuts in the hedgerows. Mr and Mrs Musgrove had obviously discussed it in detail, blaming Lady Russell for Anne’s refusal. (I love the irony of Frederick being told Lady Russell sabotaged another man’s proposal, even if it wasn’t true.) How awkward was the conversation between Mary and Anne when Mary told her sister she’d accepted Charles? Might Anne have told her so it’s not a secret waiting to bite her sister later? Would Anne have been hurt and would she have regretted seeing Mary wed a man she (Anne) could have married?
On the other hand, if the Musgroves had somehow managed to keep this from Mary and it wasn’t a well-known fact, how shocking was it for her to hear Louisa tell Wentworth on the walk to Winthrop? A great bit of fiction would be a story in which Anne, believes her refusing Charles was just between the two of them, hears it “broadcast” to the one man in the world she loves. I’d run and hide, how about you?
Anyway, the fun of events like Misty’s Austen in August is tossing out these bits of fluff and seeing where the wind blows them.
Thanks again for stopping by.
Take care–Susan Kaye