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|Whatever Henry wants . . .
Written by KatharineW
(9/27/2010 9:27 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Maria and Henry - what a pair!, penned by Rachel G
I confess that I am somewhat stymied in my reply to Robbin's post because said response will propel me into Austenuations or Life and Times or, worse, quoting my own previous posts.
So, in the context of Mansfield Park, I can state that I agree with Robbin. Henry Crawford is a serial murderer. He doesn't physically kill his victims, he only destroys their peace of mind, their hopes for the future, their self esteem.
Henry Crawford is perhaps the creepiest of Jane Austen's villians. His sole raison d'etre is his personal pleasure. I would be astonished if anyone can find an action taken on his part that was made for solely for someone else's benefit. By the time we reach the end of this novel [I know better than to cite specific spoilers.] it will be plain to see that Henry Crawford's first, last, and only concern is Henry Crawford.
This is a man who will break your heart and not care two pins about any of your concerns. This is a man who could easily morph into an actual murderer.
"Neighbors of Everingham, late the country residence of Henry Crawford, Esq., were astonished when the earthly remains of at least fifteen women were found buried in the elaborate shrubbery he created for the estate; a spot that is regarded as one of the prettiest places in the county . . . "
If Jane Austen had somehow survived to write her novels in the latter half of the twentieth century under the name of P. D. James, my pastiche passage is not only plausible it is an inevitable outcome for a man whose chief business in life is gratifying his own needs while paying no attention to the needs, or even the existence, of other people.
Be afraid, be very afraid.
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