|GR: Elizabeth Shackleton and NA
Written by Kristen G.
(10/21/2003 7:01 p.m.)
It seems that Mr. Shackleton's abuse of Elizabeth could have been the cause for her ill health and early death. When I read Northanger Abbey I must feel, especially after Henry's "lesson", that Catherine's suspicions were completely far-fetched. However, it does seem now that domestic abuse could still take place while the family appeared "genteel".
The author doesn't mention (unless I missed it) if any of Elizabeth Shackleton's neighbors knew about what was going on ~ if any of the letters written by her friends and acquaintances (to other people ~ not to Elizabeth) mentioned or hinted that the Shackletons' marriage was not a happy one. With a neighourhood of voluntary spies, could such a thing be kept under wraps?
What about Ellen Stock (I think it was Ellen Stock, anyway ~ don't have the book in front of me at the moment) who was actually turned out into the street? How could the neighbors not have known? (conjures up images of S&S2 - Lucy Steele at Mrs. Palmer's door) Yet I don't recall the author saying that it diminished the family's respectability.
Back to NA ~ in view of this, could General Tilney have abused his wife without anyone being the wiser?
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