Judith Klinghoffer

Do you really believe that Sir Richard could be pushed to marry a woman he dislikes?

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Louise Culmer No. But as he doesn't seem to care for much, it is a bit hard to understand why he's been hanging around her so much.
Kate McMurry This question, I presume, refers to the setup of the novel, that Richard is being pressured by his female relations to propose to the cold-as-ice Melissa Brandon, the eldest daughter of Lord and Lady Saar. Richard's family and hers have been friends for years. Since Richard has never been in love at the ripe "old" age of 29, and he and his mother and sister have all come to believe he never will particularly hold any woman in affection, his mother and sister press him to offer for Melissa and produce a necessary heir, as it is his family duty to do. They insist that Melissa has believed for at least 5 years (she is 25) that she is as good as betrothed to Richard. In that era, that's a very serious claim which refusing to live up to could reflect adversely on Richard's sacred honor. It's obvious, though, he's having serious doubts about proposing, and the humorous warnings of the adorable scapegrace, Melissa's brother Cedric, that Richard should run far, far away from his disreputable family, increases Richard's forebodings.
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