Tag Archives: Persuasion

Men are a little bit blind

“I was six weeks with Edward,” he said, “and saw him happy. I could have no other pleasure. I deserved none. He enquired after you very particularly; asked even if you were personally altered, little suspecting that to my eyes you could never alter.”  Chapter 23, Persuasion

Just after meeting up with Anne Elliot again, Wentworth said that she was so altered he would not have known her. But we also know that guys say a lot of things they don’t mean. Whether to stay out of trouble or make themselves look better, who knows. Women are prone to this as well, but usually for more complicated reasons. Men also have the ability to overlook a lot. They can walk around the same plate and glass on an end table for weeks if no one mentions them. I think this offhand comment was in the same vein as Darcy’s in P&P, said to look clever but never meant to be heard by the object.

The other day I was reading a blog post about many men not noticing when their wives change a lot over time. The example was of a man who married a beauty queen and she lost her looks over the course of their 40 plus-year marriage. He said he only noticed the change in her face and body when he saw how others looked at her. But when they were home, alone, she was his lovely beauty queen.  The author of the blog is newly widowed and he said it was the same for him, and that he was pretty certain that his memories of his late wife will be ever green.

This bit of mental magic is alive and well in my own marriage. I’m considerably heavier than I was when Bill and I married 38 years ago. That doesn’t matter to him, he’s never said anything that can be construed as disappointment. And that’s why we’re heading for No 39 in a few weeks.

I like to think that Frederick was telling Edward the truth while his comment early on was just palaver you say to fill the time when you meet new people. We all get a little precious when we are trying to make a good impression. Maybe I’m all wet. I hope not. I like having a bit of a fairy tale world to retreat to these days.

Take care.

 

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Pride & Precedence: Snow Woe

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There is a song from your modern era called I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas. Seriously? Snow has become not my dream but my nightmare.

Granted, a dusting of snow would be charming at Christmastime—if it came and then went away. This year? Snow continues to fall and pile up. It’s like one of those annoying houseguests who will not go.

Our “White Christmas” became a “White New Year’s” and then a “White Epiphany.” If we stiil have snow on the ground at Candlemas, I will lose my mind.

The vulgar expression “Cabin Fever” describes the situation at Uppercross Cottage. We are housebound because of the snow, and let me tell you, it is Too Much.

trees-15For one thing, the cottage is always, always cold. Why not burn a forest of trees for heat? What are we saving them for? I know, posterity. Bless me, since the days of our courtship I’ve been told that the Musgrove wealth is found not in monetary assets but in land. Well then, we ought to plant acres of trees so that we can cut down what we need. Trees do nothing but stand there. Why not make them useful?

And then there is the smoke: from fires, from sputtering candles, and from cigars. I am continually coughing because my husband will not take his cigars out-of-doors as he ought. My father-in-law’s pipe? Insupportable! Smoke indoors is almost bad as the smell of damp wool, which is everywhere.

popula626We have the same dismal callers again and again, and Charles will invite them to stay. And then, of course, I must feed them. The ugly caps and wrappers they wear are painful to behold, not to mention their red noses and  chapped cheeks. Our conversations center around one thrilling subject: the weather.

Our darling boys are behaving like savages. They laugh and screech, and their footfalls pound along the hallways and up and down stairs until my head aches. The nurserymaid is no help. Her solution is to put them in the bath, allowing them to shout and splash water everywhere. Charles bundles them up and takes them to visit his parents at the Great House, but that is no better. The boys run wild there, while my in-laws discuss my shortcomings as a mother.

Next winter, I shall insist that Charles to take me to Bath. My father has a very fine house there; we would be in no one’s way. In Bath, no one minds the weather. There are card parties, concerts, and interesting people. Here we have the same musicians, the same dances, and the same people.

Thanks to “Old Man Winter” every one of our neighbors has a cold and sniffs—continually.  My poor nerves are worn to a frazzle. But do our neighbors care? They smile and wave and say, “Cheerio!” as if they are happy about the snow.

I’d like to give that Jack Frost a piece of my mind. And a good swift kick in the pants, too.

Most cordially,

Mary Elliot Musgrove
Daughter of Sir Walter Elliot
Future Mistress of Uppercross

New Release!
Sir Walter Elliot’s Marrying Well for Fun & Profit is now a Kindle e-book.
More about that tomorrow.

Mary’s “portrait” is Afternoon Stroll by Giovanni Boldini

Snowed In

booksWhatever shall we do?

What can we do when we’re stuck at home in a winter storm (other than housecleaning – ugh!)? Read, of course!

I’ve told you about books I love that you probably wouldn’t guess I’d like. I’ve written about my childhood reads. Now – ta da! – here are some of my favorite teen reads:

A Tale of Two Cities

Les Miserables

The Count of Monte Cristo

Pride and Prejudice (right?)

Emma

Persuasion

Northanger Abbey

Adam Bede

Silas Marner

Fahrenheit 451

Animal Farm

Jane Eyre

Rebecca

All of Victoria Holt’s books

booksI’ll grant you that Dickens is an acquired taste, and Les Miserables, Adam Bede, and Silas Marner are downers, but it takes all sorts of vegetables to make a good stew.

Victoria Holt is not deep or hard to understand. Those books are clean, Gothic romance. So many governesses falling in love with the Lords of the Manor! Just the thing to stimulate a teen girl’s imagination without delving into dirt. Both my daughters read each of them.

All of these titles, with the exception of the Holt books, have been made into films, and Les Miserables is a Broadway hit. The musical scores for “Les Miserables” and “Phantom of the Opera” are brilliant and memorable.

So, if you don’t want to take down the Christmas tree yet, read one of these books or watch the movie adaptations.

Happy reading!

I Am Alive

I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. I just buried my head in the sand for a couple of weeks. I’m better now.

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Jane Austen’s birthday is Friday. She would be 241 years-old if she were alive. I think she would be awfully tired.

 

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Jane’s novel, Persuasion was published in December of 1817.

 

 

 

 

This is, in my opinion, still one of the most beautiful stills of all the adaptations:
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Sigh.

Have a lovely week.

The Crofts were come to Kellynch

The Crofts too possession with true naval alertness, and were to be visited.

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“It was you, and not your sister, I find, that my brother had the pleasure of being acquainted with, when he was in this country.”

 

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“Perhaps you may not have heard that he is married.”

 

 

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“We are expecting a brother of Mrs Croft’s here soon: I dare say you know him by name.”

 

 

So, which is worse? The shock of hearing the word “married” connected to the man you love? Or that he’s coming and will see you in all your faded glory? Both are bad. It all starts with the momentary shock and just escalates.

Sigh.