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|The novels that Harriet likes
Written by Graciela
(4/3/2008 11:35 p.m.)
"Harriet's admiration of The Romance of the Forest and The Children of the Abbey is revealing. Both novels tell the story of young women of doubtful birth, Adeline and Amanda, who are, at the last, revealed to be heirs to noble titles and estates, discoveries which permit them to marry the well-bred young men that they love. They offer Harriet, the illegitimate 'parlour boarder' at Mrs Goddard's school, precisely the kind of wish-fulfilling fantasy that she might be expected to crave. Emma's irresponsible assumption that Harriet must be 'a gentleman's daughter' is the more dangerous because it gives substance to a fantasy in which, Harriet's favourite novels reveal, she may herself indulge.
The Romance of the Forest seems to mirror more faithfully Harriet's own situation because Adeline is assumed to be illegitimate, before she is revealed at the last as the legitimate heir to a title and a large estate."
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