Day 2 of our group read & Day 4 of the great event at Austenprose
Belatedly commenting but ... I wanted to be here. After reading all the latest informative posts I've found there (at Austenprose) , after re- reading the scheduled chapters (5/8), let's see what I can say about them.
- I love the metaliterature aspect in these chapters: Jane Austen is not new to reflections on writing and reading, on the inlfuence of novels in people's lives. She had done the same all through Northanger Abbey, for instance.
- The connection between Sir Edward and the Lovelaces. Do you really think Jane would have made him as treacherous, double - faced and wicked as Robert Lovelace in Richardson's Clarissa?
My impression is that she had in mind a complex but comic character, a villain but ... with possibilities of redemption? Someone like Willoughby in S&S but finally saved by the heroine , meaning Clara here? So far Sir Edward looks more like - as Laurel Ann said in one of her previous posts - a parody, a target of Jane's satire, a caricature of the Lovelaces and the Willoughbys.
If Jane only had the time to complete this novel, would Sir Edward have any chances for improvement? Might he have fallen in love with Clara, actually? Rather improbable? This is , anyhow, what I ‘d love him to become in a finished version.
- Lady Denham. She reminds me of Lady Susan. Isn’t she as smart, shrewd, selfish, self-centred, skilled as the Jane’s first heroine? Though, she is rather direct and less polite, less diplomatic than the charming wicked Lady Susan. Lady Denham is not interested in having everyone under her spell (she lacks the physical beauty) but wants to control and dominate anyone surrounding her. We don’t know much about her so far, yet I imagine her ready to be the deus ex machina of many twists and turns to come. Maybe I’m only influenced by the story of her two buried husbands…