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Mama Deb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Austen Musings

Otherwise known as procrastination.



1. How did Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy meet? How did they ever become friends? Mr. Darcy is several years older than Mr. Bingley, and while they're both technically "gentlemen", they're from the opposite ends of the spectrum - Mr. Darcy is the grandson of an earl with a huge ancestral property and income, while Mr. Bingley is the son of a tradesman whith no estate at all. (I'm guessing he's a gentleman because he's independent.)

In fact, Elizabeth has a better background than the Bingleys - her mother's family are in trade, but her father is true gentry. The Bingleys don't even have that. If it's possibly inappropriate for Elizabeth to marry Mr. Darcy, how much more so would it be for Caroline Bingley to marry him? Or for Charles Bingley to marry Georgeana? And Jane would be a step up for him. (BTW, ever wonder if Charles and Caroline were twins, given their names?)

Or perhaps I'm overstating the case.

The only thing I can come up with is that Bingley and Darcy attended public school together and for some reason, Darcy took the younger boy under his wing and, well, Charles Bingley was probably as sweet and lovely a boy as he was a man, and Darcy couldn't help liking him.

2. I just rereadMansfield Park, and I'm not sure why this is my favorite book, although it is. I mean, I don't like Fanny all that much, and Mrs. Norris goes from amusing to irritating very quickly, and the final pairings are...problematic.

One of the problems is that for Fanny and Edmund to marry, Henry Crawford has to behave in a manner that was downright *stupid* and out of character. Yes, he's impulsive, but running off with the married cousin of the woman he loves enough to try changing for her? And he was changing for her - we could see through the Portsmouth chapters that she was beginning to have a good opinion of her because he was talking and acting as he *should*. The Author herself said that if he'd just thought - and this is a man who does think - he'd have gotten Fanny.

The other thing is that I don't like the Fanny/Edmund match. First cousins is too close for comfort and, honestly, I don't see her feeling far differently for Edmund than she does for William. It's all gratitude and worshipful little sister (richly deserved, to be sure). It's also too obvious - Mrs Norris has to be wrong all the time, so she was also wrong in this. Except she was *right* - children raised together tend to not see each other as sexual partners. Not 100% of the time, but...

So I'd have been happier if Henry Crawford had married Fanny. Edmund would have been unhappy with Mary, but that's something else.

Thoughts?

Comments

Hee! It's not your liking for Henry I find inexplicable, it's your liking for Sir William. :)

Um. Yeah, actually. I can't read Persuasion now without realizing that Mr. Elliot would never, ever be like my Sir William, who might as well be an original character. The other choice of young, unattached men would have been Tom Bertram, and he never came to mind.

(And I have this desire to slash Henry Crawford and Edmund Bertram, too. You know, they were going to share Thornton Lacey.)

I can totally see Henry and Edmund. Doesn't Edmund give Fanny a little speech about how sometimes a man will distinguish the sister or intimate friend of the one he really likes best... and then court Crawford's sister? :) And Edmund's commendation of Crawford to Fanny is warm, and seems to be more about her making Crawford happy than him making her so.

I can see why Tom Bertram wouldn't come to mind. He's not very compelling, and is explicitly said in the text to be disinterested in Henry. I think if I were going to slash Tom with anyone, it would have to be the ranting Mr. Yates, one of his many "particular friends".

How about Darcy/Wickham? I have to admit, there's more textual grounds for Darcy/Bingley, but they get along too easily to have it be very interesting to me.

I can see Darcy/Wickham - two boys growing up together.

I can also see Darcy/Bingley, but - hmm. How do I put this. Bingley likes Darcy as a friend, maybe loves him as a brother, and he's easy going enough that, "Hey, this feels good!" works for him for the sex part. Darcy, though - Darcy sounded *jealous* about Jane. Everyone but *he* saw that Jane loved Bingley, but Darcy?

They may well have stopped the sexual stuff by the time Bingley came into his fortune, but Darcy was all right so long as he didn't have to share. He might well have found objections to any young woman whom Bingley fancied. However, he found Elizabeth and could let Bingley go.

Afterwards though - I wouldn't hurt Elizabeth that way.