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Persuasion > Chapters 11-13

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 26, 2014 02:45PM) (new)

A visit to Lyme


message 2: by Hana (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
The sea air and the company of those Navy officers seems to be doing Anne a great deal of good. Ch. 12 is the first time we get a hint that she's actually a very striking woman. The plot is definitely thickening with the introduction of Mr. Elliot!


message 3: by Hana (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
Louisa isn't resolute IMO--she's pig-headed and a fool.


message 4: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments Which is kinda crucial to the plot. . . .


message 5: by Hana (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
Ahha!

Perhaps I'm being too harsh, but I think not. Louisa's awfully young and high-spirited, but there is a sentence early in this section--when she goes wild over the idea of going to Lyme--that suggests she can be rather overbearing, riding down everyone else's wishes just to get her way.

CW seems quite taken with her.


message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments Ah. Read to the end of these chapters and then we will have much to discuss behind spoilers.


message 7: by Hana (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
I have! That moment in Ch. 12 when Louisa (view spoiler)


message 8: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments Yup. We needed a foil to Anne, and we got one.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
Mary wrote: "Yup. We needed a foil to Anne, and we got one."

I'm in Chapter 11: " . . . and, in short, Louisa, who was the most eager of the eager, having formed the resolution to go, and besides the pleasure of doing as she liked, being now armed with the idea of merit in maintaining her own way, bore down all the wishes of her father and mother for putting it off till summer; and to Lyme they were to go . . . "

Captain Wentworth's praise has gone to Louisa's head, and not in a good way.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
Chapter 12: Finally, this idea is expressed: "Anne wondered whether it ever occurred to him now, to question the justness of his own previous opinion as to the universal felicity and advantage of firmness of character; and whether it might not strike him that, like all other qualities of the mind, it should have its proportions and limits. She thought it could scarcely escape him to feel that a persuadable temper might sometimes be as much in favour of happiness as a very resolute character."

But I'm not sure this idea has occurred to Capt. Wentworth yet. "But so eager and so resolute! Dear, sweet Louisa!"


message 11: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments It was a thought that might take some time to assimiliate. Remember that when it happened, he, like the rest, was kinda dazed. Thought generally succeeds to emotional reaction, rather than arrive simultaneously.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
I think you're right, Mary, which means that nothing in Louisa's previous willful behavior had yet given him pause for thought. It's only when disaster occurs that Wentworth (hopefully) begins to see that moderation with the quality of determination, as with so many other personal qualities, is a good thing. And, I think, he will also come to realize that determination shouldn't be prized above many other qualities.


message 13: by Hana (last edited Nov 06, 2014 08:42AM) (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
That makes sense, Mary. I also think Anne is unusually sensitive about personalities--and much quicker and more intuitive than Wentworth. It's a point Samanta makes on a later thread and I think it's totally correct.


message 14: by Hana (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
Ch. 11 is the point at which we get to see Wentworth in the company of his fellow naval officers. They clearly have a great deal of respect for him.

I was so impressed with how much he cared about the then Lieutenant Benwick; Wentworth goes way out of his way to break the news of Miss Harville's death. The brotherly feeling between the fellow officers speaks volumes about Wentworth's character--no one survives wartime experiences without getting a very clear sense of the character of one's fellow officers.


message 15: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments Hmm. All this talk about the effect of Louisa on Captain Wentworth's judgment. . . there's also the little matter how Anne acted. With great firmness and judgment. When everyone else is dithering, she (view spoiler). That may also be an influence.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
Mary wrote: "Hmm. All this talk about the effect of Louisa on Captain Wentworth's judgment. . . there's also the little matter how Anne acted. With great firmness and judgment. When everyone else is ditherin..."

That's true, although it does make me cringe every time when she suggests(view spoiler) But yes, I realize I'm imposing current medical practices on Regency times. :)


message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments It's not like the doctor's going (view spoiler), to be sure.


message 18: by Hana (last edited Nov 07, 2014 03:03AM) (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
lol! Nineteenth century medicine was so weird--bleeding people, vinagrettes, smelling salts, hartshorn, and laudanum for nerves and fainting, and all that meat and wine and corsets! It's a wonder anyone survived to middle age.


message 19: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 102 comments Well, we have some pretty odd practices, too, Hana! I was watching late night tv last night, and I got to laughing pretty hard at all the medical and drug "recalls". And, gosh, I guess that laudanum for nerves was probably quite effective!


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
Karlyne wrote: "And, gosh, I guess that laudanum for nerves was probably quite effective!"

Nothing like a good dose of opium to make you feel better! At least temporarily. O.o


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 70 comments I can't see how things can work out for CW and Anne.

I think expectations have been raised among the members of the Musgrove family.


message 22: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments Yeah, a good author leaves you in doubt until the resolution is revealed.


message 23: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 69 comments Chapter 12 ends Vol. I. I don't know how anyone could put the book down after this section.

Anne blossoms in Lyme. The academics say Anne finally has a chance to be free and be herself away from the resticted, formal, stuffy atmosphere of her family home. I think I agree. The more she socializes with other young people, the more she comes into her own. The bloom is back and a ha other men begin to notice! Capt. Wentworth notices too and he doesn't like that other men are noticing Anne!

Here amonmg his peers we see Wentworth at his best. He's such a loyal friend that he risked his career to go to the side of Capt. Benwick and give his friend bad news. Personall I think Harville was a bit of a coward but since it was his sister and he was probably grieving too, I'll let it go. I like meeting Wentworth's friends and seeing him with them. They would have helped Anne had she married Frederick and struggled. They're so open and warmhearted, much different from Anne's family.

Did anyone else pick up on Anne's reaction to the Harville's cottage? For the first time she sees what her life would have been like and t first she's taken aback by how small the place is. Then she notices how cleverly the sailors, who are used to living in small spaces, have contrived to fix the place up to make use of every available inch of space.

Louisa is a spoiled brat plain and simple. She's young and headstrong. She does what she does because Wentworth's praise has gone to her head. She doesn't yet know the difference between headstrong and knowing your own mind. I think Wentworth is not attracted to her. He flirts with her precisely because she is not like Anne. He's punishing Anne and himself for loving someone so persuadable. As to his feelings after thee pivotal action- hold that thought! At first he's too much in shock and fear to realize anything. He does understand that Anne keeps a cool head in a crisis. More than he does which is unrealistic or else he wouldn't be a Captain. If he lost his head, he'd be dead or those under him would be dead.

The academics point of the prescence of the fishermen come to gawk at the "dead girl - nay two dead girls." This is the first time Austen has introduced working class people and entered into their heads.

The back of my paperback book says when Tennyson visited Lyme he said (view spoiler) I feel the same way. I'm dying to go to Lyme and see the famous Cobb. I'm aiming for 2018 the bicentennial of Persuasion.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
So true, Qnpoohbear. There's such a shift in the story when the party moves to Lyme, and specifically in the scene where Anne notices Wentworth noticing Elliot noticing Anne. ;) (Sorry, I couldn't resist writing that.) I think it's a huge plot turn and, not incidentally, that's when Persuasion starts becoming a truly enjoyable book for me to read. Before that point everything in Anne's life is just so sad.

I do see plot points here and there in the story that don't quite work for me, and Captain Wentworth needing to look to Anne for guidance is one of those things. Did someone here say that Jane Austen wasn't able to polish this work as much as usual?


message 25: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments It was published posthumously. That would seem to point to her quite possibly not being done with it.


message 26: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 69 comments I think she was done with the manuscript but it may not have been edited as much by her publisher or she was in too much pain to be as careful. Somee scholars say she experimented with different writing styles, evolving as she went along.

Ch. 13 begins with Anne's sense of worth: she only values herself as she is of use to others. She is learning, but not there yet, to value herself for herself. She is experiencing a "second spring of youth and beauty," thanks to the fresh air, exercise and good company in Lyme. It's significant that her looks improve as she begins to know herself.

It is significant Anne notes that Kellynch-hall had passed into better hands. This is a radical statement, according to the editor, and shows that Jane Austen was thinking about social issues. Julia Prewitt Brown argues "Persuasion registers a fundamental ... crisis of belief in the legitimacy of social structures.... Established power is sustained only through a subjective belief in its legitimacy, through people believing its legitimacy and allowing themselves to be dominated. ... In Persuasion we see the beginning of a failure to support traditions, a failure that led to 19th century reforms."

The Crofts value Anne. Mrs. Croft is smart enough to know Anne would be an excellent wife for her baby brother.

It is significant the Crofts keep their umbrellas by the door instead of in the butler's room. Sir Walter likes to be waited on. A servant would have to fetch the umbrellas from the butler's room. The Crofts are more practical.

I love this comment. It is so very funny: " have done very little besides sending away some of the large looking-glasses from my dressing-room, which was your father's. A very good man, and very much the gentleman I am sure; but I should think, Miss Elliot" (looking with serious reflection), "I should think he must be rather a dressy man for his time of life. Such a number of looking-glasses! oh Lord! there was no getting away from oneself. So I got Sophy to lend me a hand, and we soon shifted their quarters; and now I am quite snug, with my little shaving glass in one corner, and another great thing that I never go near."

Sir Walter is so vain he must have so many mirrors in his house in order to admire his own good looks. The contrast betwwen Sir Walter and Admiral Croft is brilliant. Anne prefers Admiral Croft and his less fussy style to her own family.


message 27: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) Qnpoohbear wrote: "Persuasion registers a fundamental ... crisis of belief in the legitimacy of social structures..."

There is also that disdainful look Captain Wentworth gave to Mary when she said the Hayers are not worthy enough to be an Elliot-Musgrove acquaintance.


message 28: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 69 comments Samanta wrote: "Qnpoohbear wrote: "Persuasion registers a fundamental ... crisis of belief in the legitimacy of social structures..."

There is also that disdainful look Captain Wentworth gave to Mary when she sai..."


That could be his lingering hurt over being rejected by Anne.


message 29: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 102 comments Qnpoohbear wrote: "Samanta wrote: "Qnpoohbear wrote: "Persuasion registers a fundamental ... crisis of belief in the legitimacy of social structures..."

There is also that disdainful look Captain Wentworth gave to M..."


I think it'd be hard for any rational person to NOT give Mary the occasional disdainful look!


message 30: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) LOL... true enough :)


message 31: by Hana (last edited Nov 12, 2014 03:43AM) (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
@Qnpoohbear, I missed that about the umbrellas and the looking glass quote is probably my favorite from the whole book.

It is interesting that Anne thinks Kellynch has passed to better hands; the new social mobility of these times seems to be a central theme in Persuasion. The Admiral and Wentworth represent one kind of mobility and Austen seems to applaud it.

She's less charitable when it comes to Mrs. Clay. I wonder if that is because she's a woman? Or because fighting for one's country just seems a nobler way of acquiring wealth and position.


message 32: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 102 comments I think her dislike of Mrs. Clay stems from the fact that she's underhanded and poorly educated and such a toady, all things that she abhors. Mrs. Clay isn't moving upward by meritorious means, but by sneaky ones. Anne knows that marrying Sir Walter isn't going to improve him at all, and he needs improvement, lots of it!


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
I agree with Karlyne that Anne dislikes Mrs. Clay because she's a sycophant. If Mrs. Clay was a worthy and kind-hearted person, even if she was still poor, I think Anne would be supportive of the potential relationship.


message 34: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) I do wonder though if Sir Walter is able to improve after so many years living and thinking as he does. I do not think much can be done.


message 35: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments If he married someone with the merits of his late wife, she might at least be able to temper him to the benefit of all around him. At his age, however, he might find it hard to snag such a woman.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
Sir Walter doesn't deserve to marry a woman with any real personal merits, though. He lucked out the first time.


message 37: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 69 comments Mrs. Clay is a gold digger in modern standards. She's deliberately scheming and calculating. Anne does have some sympathy for her as a widow of no name to speak of, but dislikes Mrs. Clay's methods. She's also from a lower social class and let's face it, class is important in British society. It's a fact of life, especially in that time period and people like the Elliots do come across as snobby by our modern standards.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
Qnpoohbear wrote: "Mrs. Clay is a gold digger in modern standards. She's deliberately scheming and calculating. Anne does have some sympathy for her as a widow of no name to speak of, but dislikes Mrs. Clay's methods..."

I've always found the last chapter's comments on Mrs. Clay's fate very amusing. (view spoiler)


message 39: by Hana (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
Good points about Mrs. Clay! Tadiana, I love the last Chapter-(view spoiler)


message 40: by Marquise (last edited Oct 21, 2015 05:54PM) (new)

Marquise | 38 comments I didn't guess the departure from Uppercross to Lyme would end like it did, but welcomed the change of scenery (even if that was us miles far!) partly because I like seeing people in these very "intimate" type of narratives, i.e. those with less action and mobility, to show them in distinct situations to offset the narrowness of the setting. This allowed to see Wentworth interacting with fellow naval officers, and it was interesting that here Austen gave the three men the same rank of Captain but makes each belong in a different marital status: Harville is happily married, Benwick and Wentworth are single for basically the same reason (losing the women they wanted, one to death and the other to persuasion), which offers a nice contrast for Anne to study. She comes out of the meeting with the Navy men with very charitable thoughts that those men deserve to be "loved and respected" despite their trade, in opposition to what her father would think and to Mary's snobbishness.

Speaking of Mary, have you noticed that she refers to Sir Walter as my father as if she were the only daughter present, even when speaking to Anne? The woman cannot be more self-centred if she tried! Her reaction to Wentworth saying that Anne was the only one capable of staying to take care of Louisa after the accident is frankly annoying. She knows she's useless and was quite willing to leave... until Frederick had to say something praiseful about her sister, and then she suddenly is the ideal one? Get lost, woman!

Louisa was imprudent in persevering to take another jump when she was told not to, but I wouldn't go too hard on her for that. She's young and still retains that youthful playfulness that is often careless of risks. I think everyone reacted way too dramatically here, especially the women, but that can be understood given the scare, Louisa isn't even breathing. Anne is the one to keep her cool and everyone looks up to her for directions, even the men. Even Wentworth and Harville and Benwick, who surely saw much worse (hey, they were naval officers and must've seen plenty of action). In the case of Frederick, I can see why, because of the shock and the feeling of guilt, as he says he should've been firmer with Louisa. But the other men? En fin!

From that visit, my favourite passage is when they are coming back from the beach to the inn and they pass by Anne and Mary's cousin, without knowing it. The man pauses to admire Anne, and the reaction it excites in Wentworth is priceless! :D


I am afraid I've a less charitable impression of Lady Russell after that visit to the Crofts with her, her inner thoughts when Anne tells her Frederick is courting Louisa are very eye-opening.

And speaking of eye-opening . . .

“Ay, a very bad business indeed. A new sort of way this, for a young fellow to be making love, by breaking his mistress’s head!—is not it, Miss Elliot? This is breaking a head and giving a plaister truly!”


I was startled to learn the meaning of "make love" in our good old Jane's times! You all know what it means in our day, but according to the endnote in my edition (I am reading the Annotated version), at that time "making love" meant just "courting"! No sex involved, just wooing.

Uh... I am never going to be able to read about making love and lovemaking the same way again.

*looks round* *slids down to the floor*


message 41: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 69 comments This section is wonderful. I do question Anne's belief that she could have enjoyed living in a cozy cottage like the Harvilles. Maybe now she could but not at 19. The Harvilles are a very nice family and you notice their children seem to be better behaved than Mary's. They stay with the maid the whole time and don't bother the adults.

There's nothing like another man's interest in a woman to arouse a man's jealousy. For that I can forgive Miss Austen for including a rival for Anne's affections.

Louisa is young but she's also headstrong. She wanted to go to Lyme and she whined about it until she got to go. She's been indulged in everything her whole life and jumping off Granny's Teeth is just another instance of her being spoiled. In her favor, she's too young to really think about consequences. At that age one tends to think one knows it all and nothing will ever happen to them.

Author Marissa Doyle's pictures of Lyme including the Cobb: http://nineteenteen.blogspot.com/2015...

Making love just meant making pretty speeches- love talk. Later in the century there may have been some kissing involved. NO ONE in polite society mentioned what we call making love. Maybe a few people wrote in their diaries about it but none that I've found so far.


message 42: by Marquise (new)

Marquise | 38 comments QNPoohBear wrote: "Author Marissa Doyle's pictures of Lyme including the Cobb: http://nineteenteen.blogspot.com/2015..."

Thanks for that, QNPB! Very helpful for visualising the place.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 70 comments Hana wrote: "Louisa isn't resolute IMO--she's pig-headed and a fool."

I thought the same thing!

She behaved like a child!

I hope that she has learned her lesson!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 70 comments Hana wrote: "I have! That moment in Ch. 12 when Louisa [spoilers removed]"

FW is wrong there!

I see misery for whomever married her.

She's self-willed piece of work. She doesn't listen to reason.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 70 comments These thoughts of Lady Russell reveal an unpleasant and unfair aspect to the tone of her mind:

"Lady Russell had only to listen composedly, and wish them happy, but internally her heart revelled in angry pleasure, in pleased contempt, that the man who at twenty-three, seemed somewhat to understand the value of Anne Elliot, should, eight years afterwards, be charmed by a Louisa Musgrove."

This seems a poor-spirited sentiment when she is the one who ruined his hopes to marry Anne. She is very judgmental, and not in a good way. In her way, she is as judge mental as Sir Walter, just not as silly as he is.

I think she's rather worse because she isn't stupid. Why have these thoughts about a man getting on with his life after she was the ruin of his hopes?


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