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|The "dreadful account" from London...
Written by MarianneR
(3/13/2009 7:20 a.m.)
During their walk round Beechen Cliff (ch.14) Catherine and the Tilneys cover several interesting subjects, each of which would be worth to discuss. I would like to draw our attention to Catherine´s mention of something very shocking indeed to come out in London. There are several things I don´t quite understand:
First the source:“A particular friend of mine had an account of it in a letter from London yesterday." Who is she talking about? Given that the only persons she knows in Bath are the Allens and the Thorpes (and the Tilneys of course), this could be either Isabella or John Thorpe. But why the expression "a particular friend"? They already proved to be particular bad friends, I should say. Very strange indeed. Although the contend of the news would suit both siblings´ tendency to exaggeration... Any ideas?
The content (in Catherine´s words): Very shocking indeed...more horrible than anything we have met with yet...uncommonly dreadful. I shall expect murder and everything of the kind.” Is this Catherine´s vivid imagination running wild? Too much Udolpho reading matter? Interestingly enough, sensible Eleanor joins in the chorus at once...
And finally Henry´s objective explanation:“...nothing more dreadful than a new publication which is shortly to come out, in three duodecimo volumes, two hundred and seventy–six pages in each, with a frontispiece to the first, of two tombstones and a lantern..." Now this is interesting. Is he talking of the release of a new gothic novel? Is JA giving hints to a real novel that was known to their first readers? But why all the scandalous talk? So many questions...
I look forward to your thoughts!
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