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|Bravo,Nan and Bravo Jane Austen!
Written by KatharineW
(5/5/2010 2:26 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, "Be not alarmed, Madam", penned by nan duval
Now for the reason we are here: Darcy's letter is among the most famous and the most pivotal in all of English literature. I do not know where to begin except at the beginning---with Ms. Austen.
So far, we have been priviledged to read letters from Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy. From both letters we can paint an accurate portrait of these two very different sorts of men. It is a tribute to Jane Austen's skill that we can accurately assume asinine vapidity and no small amount of smugness before we meet Mr. Collins face-to-face.
Then our beloved author exceeds herself when, after meeting Darcy on several social occasions we receive a letter that makes us see him as if for the first time. The seemingly haughty reserve is gone. Yes, we can still see formality in his writing style, but somehow his feelings become clearer here than when he was speaking to Lizzy the afternoon before.
It is hard to remember my first feelings when I read this letter for the very first time. I think I felt anger over Darcy's seeming insensitivity, then incredulity over his motives regarding Jane-Bingley, then pity when I read of Wickham-Georgiana, then hope that somehow Darcy and Lizzy might get a second chance.
Now, after innumerable readings of this letter and this novel, I am amazed each time at the elegance, brevity, and power of Ms. Austen's style and the universality of her understanding.
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