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No Name
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Archived Group Reads 2012 > No Name 2012 Scene Four

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message 1: by V.r. (last edited May 13, 2012 03:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

V.r. Christensen (VRChristensen) On the small neutral ground of self-importance, the best men and the worst meet on the same terms.


V.r. Christensen (VRChristensen) Mrs. Wragge--refreshed by some thirteen consecutive hours of uninterrupted repose--was in excellent spirits, and up at heel (for a wonder) with both shoes.


V.r. Christensen (VRChristensen) ...the one thing needful is never to let Mrs. Lecount catch you with your wits wool-gathering.


Diane | 144 comments Oh my goodness, all the plotting, scheming, double potting, counter plotting, conniving and deceiving is enough to make my head "buzz". Magdelan, Wragge and Mrs. Lecount are hilarious.
I'll bet that Mrs. Lecount and Wragge would have been fantastic chess players.


V.r. Christensen (VRChristensen) I was thinking last night that you could quite easily compare their maneouverings to a game of chess. It's amazing to me all the ways they check each other. It's dizzying, really. And now, what? I thought I'd finished scene four because it's where my book split off into two, but I'm still deep in. Is this wedding going to come off or isn't it? I don't hate Noel. I find him quite comical and charming in his own way, but when he balks at buying a ring, or paying for a maid to attend Magdalen, I'm just not sure her marrying him is going to have the results she wants. She's also marrying him with a false name. I'm interested to see, if they do go through with this, what it will all mean. From my understanding, a marriage can be claimed void if there is fraud involved, but I'm not sure Noel would go to the expense of taking it to court.

But then maybe she won't marry him at all. I don't know. I'm kind of hoping Captain Kirke will return and somehow intervene. I'm wondering, as he's going to China, if he will find Frank, which would be an enormous coincidence, but I suppose it wouldn't be the first.


Marialyce I am not finished yet with this section, but it is so intriguing. All the maneuvers on the part of the characters moves this book along so quickly. That Mrs L wow! She is quite something! Yes, V,r., it does seem like a game of chess.

I do have to say though that I feel sorry for Noel. My word, he has been and is being manipulated in a huge way! One has to see how super clever Collins was to keep all these balls in the air. It is great, he was great! Such an "un put downable" story!


Diane | 144 comments Noel, I don't feel even a shred of sympathy for that sniveling, miserly, mean little ...whatever. He is comical though.


Marialyce I finished this scene and certainly there was a huge amount of emotions rolling about in these pages. The most surprising to me was that the marriage did take place. Somehow I thought someone, Frank perhaps, would have come into the picture and upset the marriage plot. Also, surprising to me was the possible suicide of Magdalen. Based on her strength of character and her need for revenge, I did doubt a suicide would happen, but with Mr Collins one never knows.

I loved that Mrs L. was outsmarted. I am so anxious to see how she comes back and I am sure it will be with a vengeance. The intrigue continues and I am starting to feel this might become my most favorite Collins book.


V.r. Christensen (VRChristensen) It is a fantastic read, isn't it? I too was surprised that the marriage happened. I'm learning a lot, though. The book, as I think I had said before, was recommended to me, and now I know why. I've handled some of these issues before, married with the wrong name, and the threat of the marriage being found null, etc. Crazy stuff, but so fascinating! And I was trying to figure out why Mr. Wragge made sure that Magdalen understood that the marriage could not be challenged if it was done after one of them died. I think he's hinting at Lecount, and at Noel's weak health. IT makes me wonder what that little element was placed there for. It must be going to come up in the future....

I wish I didn't have to work today. I'd much rather be curled up reading!


Diane | 144 comments I also doubted that she would commit suicide because the book would be over rather quickly. On the other hand, she was so depressed at the thought of marrying that icky man that anything was possible. I thought that if she did, someone would save her at the last minute.
This book would make a good movie, wouldn't it?


message 11: by V.r. (new) - rated it 5 stars

V.r. Christensen (VRChristensen) Diane wrote: "I also doubted that she would commit suicide because the book would be over rather quickly.

That's true! Ha ha. I was kind of hoping for a last minute rescue, too. I was hoping somehow Kirke would come back, or his sister would step in. He's kind of old for her, but that wasn't unusual then. Arthur Clennam was 40 to Little Dorrit's...18? I can't remember how old she was. Anyway, hmmmm.... yes, not sure what's going to happen now. Anything's possible, really.


Silver V.r. wrote: "Diane wrote: "I also doubted that she would commit suicide because the book would be over rather quickly.

That's true! Ha ha. I was kind of hoping for a last minute rescue, too. I was hoping someh..."


I do not think that Magdalen would end up with Kirke, but I do not think that it is a coincidence that he was sailing for of all places, China, I see some possible Kirke-Frank connection, though exactly how, I cannot say, but I don't think we have seen the last of Kirke.

I agree that all the scheming back and forth was quite interesting to read about, I also must admit that I rather like Captain Wragge, though I still disagree with how he treats his wife, I think he is a great character.

hmm I wonder now is Magdalen going to poison (or attempt to do so) Noel with the laudanum? Wragge seemed to strongly insinuate to her the prospects of killing him and considering how sickly he is, it might not be surprising if he were to die, though Mrs. Lecount would be suspicious.

One thing that confused me, is that when Mrs. Lecount interrogated Mrs. Wragge, initially I had thought she had stolen the dress of which she went there to find, that Magdalen wore in her Miss. Garth disguise but than later I found out that the dress was still there, and she ran off with Mrs. Wragge's Oriental robe. Why would she take that? And how is that proof against Magdalen?


message 13: by V.r. (new) - rated it 5 stars

V.r. Christensen (VRChristensen) She didn't take the robe, she threw it in Mrs. Wragge's face and made a hasty escape. Mrs. Wragge is so funny, never getting angry, always so apologetic about herself, but she sure got mad at Mrs. Lecount. I too think Wragge is a great character. I love Mrs. Wragge.

The poison was for Magdalen. Not for Noel. It was her out when she got desperate not to go through with it. I don't think it ever occurred to her to use it for Noel, but that was certainly the conclusion Lecount came to. Wragge's insinuations about his death had more to do with Lecount than anything. I think, from what I've studied of marriage law, that what he was telling her was that if Noel died and she inherited, at that point it would be too late for anyone to contest it. I could be wrong, but that's the way I understood it. I wrote a plot device similar once, and so I had to know the in's and outs of a marriage and how it was made null and under what circumstances, etc. The whole question of a third party's ability to challenge it came into play. Sort of as an aside, I have a lawyer friend in London and I asked him about it. He was utterly useless. I asked him what would happen if, say, a brother challenged a man's marriage. His answer? "He'd have to be a complete sh@! to do that." Which didn't answer the question at all. Anyway, back to the point, I doubt very much there was any intention of murder. Noele was weak and sickly. I think Wragge was hinting more at that. I hate to think Magdalene was counting on it, but it's entirely possible.


Silver V.r. wrote: "She didn't take the robe, she threw it in Mrs. Wragge's face and made a hasty escape. Mrs. Wragge is so funny, never getting angry, always so apologetic about herself, but she sure got mad at Mrs. ..."

I will have to go back and reread that part because I recall Mrs. Wragge calling her a thief, and I thought there was a later reference to the robe being missing or gone or something to that nature.

Yes Magdalen originally bought the poison for herself, but she kept it with her, as she said to herself, in case she might still have need for it. And than Captain Wragge, very strongly implied that if Noel were to die before the marriage could be contended that she would be completely safe, but that she would risk loosing all of he discovered the truth.

That is just the natural place which my mind went. She is now in possession of poison, Noel is sickly, and Captain Wragge, very strongly expresses to her that she could profit from Noel's death.


message 15: by Marialyce (last edited May 25, 2012 05:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marialyce I did not see Magdalen at all trying to kill her husband with the poison. I do think it was totally out of her realm of thought. Certainly she was considering her own demise but not that of Noel.

I think perhaps if the poison had been in Captain Wragge's hands then for sure Noel might have met a sooner end then he did. I, too, loved the Captain, well, except in his dealings with his wife, but there was a definite evil side to that man.


message 16: by V.r. (new) - rated it 5 stars

V.r. Christensen (VRChristensen) He was cunning, but he did have a limit. His remorse over assisting Magdalen to marry Noel was clear. He tried on more than one occasion to give her an out, and he came back of his own accord. There was nothing in it for him at that point. So I really do think he had goodness in him. Even at the end, though, he was still horrible to his wife, but even there I think he'd gotten a little better if he was using her as advertising for his "pill." What a funny pair they are.


Silver It just seemed to me that Collin's was planting the idea, that such might be a possibility. And it does not seem entirely unreasonable that Magdalen might consider the possibility and be tempted.

We have Captain Wragge's words of warning, and know she has the poison with her and that she is desperate and unpredictable and on a quest for vengeance.

If this book was published in serial form I would think that would make a great cliff hanger in wondering what might happen next.


Diane | 144 comments Why oh why oh why did she keep that stinking alpaca dress and carry it from place to place no less? (hey that rhymes)
The whole laudanum thing puzzles me. If it was so poisonous how was she to use it for toothache? Isn't laudanum just an opiate and unless she gave a huge dose, wouldn't she or Noel would have just gone into an opiate stupor? I thought laudanum was commonly given in Victorian times even to babies to help teething or sleeping.


message 19: by Silver (last edited May 25, 2012 07:02PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Silver Diane wrote: "Why oh why oh why did she keep that stinking alpaca dress and carry it from place to place no less? (hey that rhymes)
The whole laudanum thing puzzles me. If it was so poisonous how was she to use ..."


It was a commonly used medicine, but it was also a very potentially dangerous one. It could in fact kille you if either used too much at once, or used over a very long extended period of time, and it could also be additive.

I myself did not understand about the dress either and why it is that she kept it with her. She was so careful about everything else. She got rid of all the other articles of her clothing, and than after the incident of Mrs. Lacount visiting Mrs. Wragge, I could not believe she still kept the dress. That seemed like quite a careless oversight upon her part.


message 20: by V.r. (new) - rated it 5 stars

V.r. Christensen (VRChristensen) Agreed on the alpaca. For sure! I guess it all hung on the fact that she didn't know Mrs. Lecount had snipped off a bit of it, but still. She knew she'd worn it to her house. All I can think is that she was too poor to think of getting rid of a dress. But even that doesn't figure in. She had enough to buy herself a new dress I would think.

I found it interesting to learn that laudanum was also cheaper than alcohol. And yes, it was very addictive. The two things together made for some dangerous combinations, I think. Isn't Tennyson's the Lotus Eaters about laudanum? I could be wrong, but I think it is.


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