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|The Weston/Churchill back story
Written by Barbara
(3/30/2008 11:21 a.m.)
I've watched both Emma2 and Emma3 several times each since the last time I reread Emma (which is one reason why it's so great to have group reads, to make sure those rereads happen!), and I confess I did not at all recall there was so much background information about Mr./Captain Weston's story. The basics, yes--that he was widowed when his son was very young and that no one thought he would remarry, etc. I had forgotten this altogether: " It was an unsuitable connection, and did not produce much happiness."
Now, this is the narrator and not Emma saying that the connection was not suitable, presumably because Miss Churchill of Enscombe had higher expectations and propects than to marry a Captain Weston. On the other hand, the narrator also calls her brother's anger at the marriage 'unreasonable'. This whole idea of who is considered to be at whose same level of society and why is one that I am really thinking about on this read.
The other thing that struck me about the story was this:
That 'supposed to have felt' is a curious way of putting it. Mr. Weston seems to be a very feeling and kind man, but it is hard for us to understand in our times, the very idea of someone giving up their child in this way and just looking to their own comfort and situation.
On the other hand, in Jane Austen's own family, her brother James had his eldest daughter go to live with his parents after his first wife died and until he remarried, and then of course her brother Edward was adopted by a wealthy childless couple, took their name and became their heir. One wonders what Jane's family thought of this situation in the book!
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