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|Chapters 4 & 5 -- We meet the Thorpe women
Written by kathleen (elder)
(3/3/2009 8:06 p.m.)
the talents of her sons, and the beauty of her daughters, ... their different situations and views — that John was at Oxford, Edward at Merchant Taylors’, and William at sea — and all of them more beloved and respected in their different station than any other three beings ever were ... .
Mrs Thorpe seems to have little conversation except concerning her children, but the narrator is relatively kind to her: "Mrs. Thorpe was a widow, and not a very rich one; she was a good–humoured, well–meaning woman, and a very indulgent mother." Other than being boring, I cannot find anything negative in her -- she is similar to Mrs Allen, I suppose, rather than being like Mrs Morland.
Shortly after meeting Mrs Thorpe, we are introduced to three Misses Thorpes -- Isabella, the oldest, and two younger daughters. After being introduced to Catherine, it becomes clear that Catherine's oldest brother (James) is good friends with John Thorpe. So the Morland & Thorpe families are connected. Catherine and Isabella become instant friends, even though Isabella is a few years older.
According to the narrator, Isabella Thorpe "had great personal beauty," and her younger sisters, "by pretending to be as handsome as their sister, imitating her air, and dressing in the same style, did very well." Nothing too negative, but I'm not sure that I feel much of a real family vibe -- it's not unrealistic for a family to be like this, but it seems a bit cold.
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