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|Ch.15: An aha moment
Written by Line
(3/13/2009 11:00 a.m.)
As someone who has just made it to the end of ch.15 for the first time ;-), I now understand why Isabella, at least, was so terribly pushy about trying to persuade Catherine to go on excursions in previous chapters. Of course it was obvious that she was after James, but I had forgotten how quickly engagements happened in JA's world. If she was going to have a chance to be alone with him, not to mention giving him a chance to propose, she needed the right kind of female chaperone along; if Catherine didn't come, no chance at James (though, come to think of it, wouldn't one of her own sisters have done as well?)!
Apart from that, I'm sure Isabella felt she was working against the clock; if James didn't propose during the time they were both in Bath, her chances would plummet. Do we know how long the Thorpes and/or James were planning to stay in Bath?
According to Ellen Moody's timeline in the NA FAQs, Catherine meets Isabella and Co. for the first time on February 3, and finds out that Isabella and James are engaged on February 20, two and a half weeks later! I know that James had spent Christmas with the Thorpes, but how much time would he have spent there? It really seems like an extraordinarily short time to get to know someone and decide whether or not they're the person you want to spend your life with!
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