Monday, February 2, 2015

Persuasion Read-Along: Chapter 13

(First a quick note: how is the current pace going for everyone? If we can keep on with the three chapters a week, we’ll be finishing at the end of February—which would be great—but let me know if it’s too much or too fast.) 


And now for our chapter!

I think of this chapter as an ‘information and transition chapter,’ with all its different people and groups moving from here to there. Once again, Anne is resolving and taking action: helping the Musgroves head off for Lyme and bolstering Lady Russell’s decision to call on the Crofts.

Lady Russell and Anne’s call on the Crofts is perfectly delightful, including its little narration from Admiral Croft about the Kellynch improvements and Sir Walter’s looking glasses: “Indeed, I must do ourselves the justice to say, that the few alterations we have made have been all very much for the better. My wife should have the credit of them, however. I 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! …there was no getting away from one's self. 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.” Such a telling image of the differences between the two men! 


And, of course, I also love how Captain Wentworth brings the notes for Anne and then speaks so highly of her to his sister! Quite lovely, indeed.

Favorite lines/quotes:

“There was some anxiety mixed with Lady Russell's joy in meeting her. She knew who had been frequenting Uppercross.” pg. 120

“She could have said more on the subject; for she had in fact so high an opinion of the Crofts, and considered her father so very fortunate in his tenants, felt the parish to be so sure of a good example, and the poor of the best attention and relief, that however sorry and ashamed for the necessity of the removal, she could not but in conscience feel that they were gone who deserved not to stay, and that Kellynch Hall had passed into better hands than its owners'. These convictions must unquestionably have their own pain, and severe was its kind; but they precluded that pain which Lady Russell would suffer in entering the house again, and returning through the well-known apartments.” pg. 122 

“Mrs. Croft always met her with a kindness which gave her the pleasure of fancying herself a favourite, and on the present occasion, receiving her in that house, there was particular attention.” pg. 122

“As to the sad catastrophe itself, it could be canvassed only in one style by a couple of steady, sensible women, whose judgments had to work on ascertained events…” pg. 123

Possible discussion question/s:

~ It’s evident we’ll soon be en route for Bath with Anne. Are you looking forward to leaving our country acquaintance behind and mixing more with the Elliots again?


19 comments:

  1. My biggest problem is I want to keep on reading & reading. But I think I've only gone a chapter beyond where the read through is at right now. That is, I'm already in Bath. :)

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    1. George,
      Great! And yes, it's hard to stop sometimes in a good story. :)

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  2. Oh dear! I'm about three chapters behind! This is not because of the pace, though - it's a great pace. I've just been really busy. I hope to read all three chapters this evening.

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    1. Naomi,
      Oh, that's quite all right....I've been busy, too. Don't feel pressured and enjoy the catch-up chapters! ;)

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  3. I think the pace is about right. Thanfully each chapter is short, so it isn't too hard to catch up.

    This chapter was delightful. I must admit, I am almost dreading bath. I anticipate more stuffiness and less real good hearted folk like those at Lyme. Also, I already miss Captain Wentworth.

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    1. Susanna,
      Glad you think it's working out well!

      And I know, as for missing CW.... (*sniff, sniff*) Ah well, let us plow on. We shall get to the end yet! ;)

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  4. The pace is good, and I'd love to finish up by the end of the month so I'm not trying to juggle this and my "Little Women" read-along.

    More comments later!

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    1. Hamlette,
      Great! And yes, that's what I'm thinking, too. :D

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  5. I'm three chapters behind as well, but the pace is good, and it's nothing that an hour and a cup of tea can't fix!

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  6. I'm three chapters behind as well, but the pace is good, and it's nothing that an hour and a cup of tea can't fix!

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    1. Abby,
      Okay, good! And that's just fine....the cup of tea sounds lovely! ;)

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  7. I miss Lyme, but I don't hate Bath.

    A few lines I noted and want to discuss:

    "...she had the satisfaction of knowing herself extremely useful..." (This is one of the biggest reasons I identify so much with Anne. She wants and tries to be useful and helpful whenever possible, and so do I.)

    "There could not be a doubt, to her mind there was none, of what would follow her [Louisa's] recovery." (OUCH! Poor Anne! Quite convinced that Wentworth will marry Louisa. Sniffle.)

    Anne "was soon sensible of some mental change" when she reunites with Lady Russell. The doings of Kellynch and her family are no longer the center of her universe. She's made friends outside her usual circle, possibly for the first time since Captain Wentworth came into her life 8 years ago. She's realizing that Kellynch is not the end-all, be-all of the world, opening up her heart and mind to things and people and places beyond it. Yes, she'd been to Bath before this, and obviously to Uppercross too. But I get this definite feeling of Anne opening up to the larger world, of finding that she could be someone other than "only Anne."

    And I really really dislike Lady Russell here, when "internally her heart revelled in angry pleasure, in pleased contempt" over Captain Wentworth making what she believes is a poor choice of a future wife. Wow, that's quite spiteful.

    But I continue to love the Crofts. First, Austen calls Mrs. Croft and Anne "a couple of steady, sensible women," and I love that she's kind of equating the two here. And then she says of Admiral Croft: "His goodness of heart and simplicity of character were irresistible." Love!

    Finally, I really liked the admiral's observation that "one man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best." So very true.

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    1. Hamlette,
      Oh, I know....that line about Louisa's recovery!! With Elliot and Benwick in the picture, I'm almost getting the feel here (and also in Chapter 14) that Anne is trying to open up to the possibility of moving forward with someone else (if Wentworth does marry Louisa). But Austen handles it very well, so we never feel like she's really swaying from her love. ;) (Either that, or Austen is trying to throw a little dust in our eyes. :))

      And that's something that's really struck me over time, too---how Anne's circle of friendship expands. (Near the end of the read-along, I'm actually planning to write up a post on the relationship between Anne and Wentworth and hoping to touch on it!)

      And yes, I have very mixed feelings about Lady Russell. I don't strongly dislike her (as I dislike Mrs. Norris, for instance, in MP), but sometimes I have a really, really hard time liking her (or even valuing her as Anne does). I guess it might be a lot different if it was the case of a personal friend in real life---when you can feel how they love and care about you, even when you know they're wrong about some things.

      .....And LOVE the Crofts!!! (as always ;))

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  8. I like the pace. I'm only struggling with the fact that I now want to read more Austen and can't wait to get to my next one!

    One thing I have learned with this read is not to watch the movie before you read the book.

    It's curious how rare sensible women are in Austen novels. But there are so many different kinds of un-sensible ones! :-)

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    1. Cleopatra,
      Good, I'm glad it's working well! (And oh, dear....what a terrible struggle!!! ;))

      Yes, generally I end up reading a book before watching the movie, but I think Persuasion's a particularly important instance. Quite a few people highly prefer one or the other version (speaking of the '95 and the '07), but I think it's harder to pick up as much/understand either one as well if you haven't read the book....simply because Anne's such a quiet heroine and the story itself is told with so much reticence. You have to dig into it and mull over it a bit more, I think.

      And my, that would be an interesting thought to explore sometime---sensible v. un-sensible women in Austen! Hmmmmm. You're giving me more ideas again..... ;)

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  9. Blogger is being very naughty and not letting me reply to your reply directly. Hmph.

    I do feel like Anne is starting to think more of her future and seeing that perhaps she won't be living with her family forever. I don't know if she's all that attracted to either Mr. Elliot or Captain Benwick, but she's open to the possibility of a relationship, and willing to get to know them both. She believes Wentworth will be marrying Louisa, so pining for him is now useless.

    I like how you put that, about Lady Russell. I have a really hard time liking her too. I have to work at it.

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    1. Hamlette,
      Yes, that's the feeling I'm getting, too.

      Incidentally, I've also wondered how exactly it would turn out eventually for Elizabeth and Anne (if they're still unmarried) when Mr. Elliot inherits. Somehow I don't get quite the sense of monetary urgency that comes across in P&P -- but they still don't have much. Maybe they would have enough with their own inheritance to live on together in a small way, though. And maybe Charles Musgrove, as a brother-in-law, would be expected to help provide for them.

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    2. You know, this is a good point. Do we know if Lady Russell had any children, or how her estate is to be bestowed? I could see her leaving Anne a sizeable portion of it if Anne was unmarried when Lady Russell died. But barring that, yes, they would not be living in their accustomed way, at the very least. I expect they would have their own inheritance, which would have been their dowry if they married, I think?

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    3. Hamlette,
      Yes, I'm pretty positive Lady Russell didn't have any children. It seems like they definitely would have been mentioned somewhere. And I'm not exactly sure about the dowry/inheritance. I still haven't been able to quite figure out all the ins and outs of the different marriage settlements they used to have, but your hypothesis makes a lot of sense.

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Challenging questions and thoughts are most welcome! Please just keep all comments wholesome and God-honoring. Also, if someone else has left a comment you’d like to reply to/interact with—do feel free!