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|Gossip in P&P: ch.5 + 7 (long)
Written by Line
(4/14/2010 9:22 a.m.)
That the Miss Lucases and the Miss Bennets should meet to talk over a ball was absolutely necessary; and the morning after the assembly brought the former to Longbourn to hear and to communicate. (ch.5)
This is not a huge example of gossip in itself, but I just wanted to point out that this is how gossip works - people getting together to discuss the details of a particular event, finding out things they may have missed the first time around, and spreading any news to their other friends the next time they see *them*!
- Kitty and Lydia are now a conduit of news about the militia, via Mrs. Phillips. (BTW, I wonder why *Mr.* Phillips would be so interested in cultivating the militia officers? Would it be good for his business as a notary?)
- Every day added something to their knowledge of the officers' names and connections. (very important during that era)
- "Mama," cried Lydia, "my aunt says that Colonel Forster and Captain Carter do not go so often to Miss Watson's as they did when they first came; she sees them now very often standing in Clarke's library." (We figured out during a previous GR that Mrs. Phillips is a determined news-gatherer in her own right ;-), but how does she know how often the officers go to each library? Does she go there herself, do the libraries have nice clear windows, or is one or both of them near her house?)
- Mrs. Bennet: "The gentlemen will have Mr. Bingley's chaise to go to Meryton; and the Hursts have no horses to theirs." (I find it interesting and rather surprising that Mrs. Bennet already knows exactly what transport the Netherfield party have available to them.)
- Jane's note to Elizabeth: "[The Bingleys] insist also on my seeing Mr. Jones -- therefore do not be alarmed if you should hear of his having been to me." She knows that ten to one her family *will* hear about it!
- A servant was dispatched to Longbourn to acquaint the family with her stay and bring back a supply of clothes. (another source of news!)
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